Abstract:
We have studied numerically the evolution and decay of axion strings. These global defects decay mainly by axion emission and thus contribute to the cosmological axion density. The relative importance of this source relative to misalignment production of axions depends on the spectrum. Radiation spectra for various string loop configurations are presented. They support the contention that the string decay contribution is of the same order of magnitude as the contribution from misalignment.

Abstract:
We analyze the spectrum of axions radiated from collapse of domain walls, which have received less attention in the literature. The evolution of topological defects related to the axion models is investigated by performing field-theoretic lattice simulations. We simulate the whole process of evolution of the defects, including the formation of global strings, the formation of domain walls and the annihilation of the defects due to the tension of walls. The spectrum of radiated axions has a peak at the low frequency, which implies that axions produced by the collapse of domain walls are not highly relativistic. We revisit the relic abundance of cold dark matter axions and find that the contribution from the decay of defects can be comparable with the contribution from strings. This result leads to a more severe upper bound on the axion decay constant.

Abstract:
We calculate the dilution of the baryon-to-photon ratio by the decay of superstring axions. We find that the dilution is of the order of $10^7$. We review several models of baryogenesis and show that most of them can not tolerate such a large dilution. In particular, only one current model of electroweak baryogenesis possibly survives. The Affleck-Dine mechanism in SUSY GUTs is very robust and the dilution by axions could contribute to the dilution required in these models. Baryogenesis scenarios involving topological defects and black hole evaporation are also capable of producing a sufficiently large baryon asymmetry.

Abstract:
The presence of a hot dark matter component has been hinted at 3 sigma by a combination of the results from different cosmological observations. We examine a possibility that pseudo Nambu-Goldstone bosons account for both hot and cold dark matter components. We show that the QCD axions can do the job for the axion decay constant f_a < O(10^10) GeV, if they are produced by the saxion decay and the domain wall annihilation. We also investigate the cases of thermal QCD axions, pseudo Nambu-Goldstone bosons coupled to the standard model sector through the Higgs portal, and axions produced by modulus decay.

Abstract:
We discuss the appearance at the QCD phase transition, and the subsequent decay, of axion walls bounded by strings in N=1 axion models. We argue on intuitive grounds that the main decay mechanism is into barely relativistic axions. We present numerical simulations of the decay process. In these simulations, the decay happens immediately, in a time scale of order the light travel time, and the average energy of the radiated axions is $<\omega_a > \simeq 7 m_a$ for $v_a/m_a \simeq 500$. $<\omega_a>$ is found to increase approximately linearly with $\ln(v_a/m_a)$. Extrapolation of this behaviour yields $<\omega_a> \sim 60 m_a$ in axion models of interest. We find that the contribution to the cosmological energy density of axions from wall decay is of the same order of magnitude as that from vacuum realignment, with however large uncertainties. The velocity dispersion of axions from wall decay is found to be larger, by a factor $10^3$ or so, than that of axions from vacuum realignment and string decay. We discuss the implications of this for the formation and evolution of axion miniclusters and for the direct detection of axion dark matter on Earth. Finally we discuss the cosmology of axion models with $N>1$ in which the domain wall problem is solved by introducing a small U$_{PQ}$(1) breaking interaction. We find that in this case the walls decay into gravitational waves.

Abstract:
We present a calculation of the $K\to\pi\pi$ decay amplitudes from the $K\to\pi$ matrix elements using leading order relations derived in chiral perturbation theory. Numerical simulations are carried out in quenched QCD with the domain-wall fermion action and the renormalization group improved gluon action. Our results show that the I=2 amplitude is reasonably consistent with experiment whereas the I=0 amplitude is sizably smaller. Consequently the $\Delta I=1/2$ enhancement is only half of the experimental value, and $\epsilon'/\epsilon$ is negative.

Abstract:
We illustrate, taking a top-down point of view, how axions and other very weakly interacting sub-eV particles (WISPs) arise in the course of compactification of the extra spatial dimensions in string/M-theory.

Abstract:
We report on the first large-scale study of two flavor QCD with domain wall fermions (DWF). Simulation has been carried out at three dynamical quark mass values about 1/2, 3/4, and 1 $m_{strange}$ on $16^3\times 32$ volume with $L_s=12$ and $a^{-1}\approx 1.7$ GeV. After discussing the details of the simulation, we report on the light hadron spectrum and decay constants.

Abstract:
Preliminary evidence of solar axions in XMM-Newton observations has quite recently been claimed by Fraser et al. as an interpretation of their detection of a seasonally-modulated excess of the X-ray background. Within such an interpretation, these authors also estimate the axion mass to be $m_a \simeq 2.3 \cdot 10^{- 6}$ eV. Since an axion with this mass behaves as a cold dark matter particle, according to the proposed interpretation the considered detection directly concerns cold dark matter as well. So, the suggested interpretation would lead to a revolutionary discovery if confirmed. Unfortunately, we have identified three distinct problems in this interpretation of the observed result of Fraser et al. which ultimately imply that the detected signal - while extremely interesting in itself - cannot have any relation with hypothetical axions produced by the Sun. Thus, a physically consistent interpretation of the observed seasonally-modulated X-ray excess still remains an exciting challenge.

Abstract:
We explore application of the domain wall fermion formalism of lattice QCD to calculate the $K\to\pi\pi$ decay amplitudes in terms of the $K\to\pi$ and $K\to 0$ hadronic matrix elements through relations derived in chiral perturbation theory. Numerical simulations are carried out in quenched QCD using domain-wall fermion action for quarks and an RG-improved gauge action for gluons on a $16^3\times 32\times 16$ and $24^3\times 32\times 16$ lattice at $\beta=2.6$ corresponding to the lattice spacing $1/a\approx 2$GeV. Quark loop contractions which appear in Penguin diagrams are calculated by the random noise method, and the $\Delta I=1/2$ matrix elements which require subtractions with the quark loop contractions are obtained with a statistical accuracy of about 10%. We confirm the chiral properties required of the $K\to\pi$ matrix elements. Matching the lattice matrix elements to those in the continuum at $\mu=1/a$ using the perturbative renormalization factor to one loop order, and running to the scale $\mu=m_c=1.3$ GeV with the renormalization group for $N_f=3$ flavors, we calculate all the matrix elements needed for the decay amplitudes. With these matrix elements, the $\Delta I=3/2$ decay amplitude shows a good agreement with experiment in the chiral limit. The $\Delta I=1/2$ amplitude, on the other hand, is about 50--60% of the experimental one even after chiral extrapolation. In view ofthe insufficient enhancement of the $\Delta I=1/2$ contribution, we employ the experimental values for the real parts of the decay amplitudes in our calculation of $\epsilon'/\epsilon$. We find that the $\Delta I=3/2$ contribution is larger than the $\Delta I=1/2$ contribution so that $\epsilon'/\epsilon$ is negative and has a magnitude of order $10^{-4}$. Possible reasons for these unsatisfactory results are discussed.