Probing the Planck Scale with Proton Decay

Even without Grand Unification, proton decay can be a powerful probe of physics at the highest energy scales. Supersymmetric theories with conserved R-parity contain Planck-suppressed dimension 5 operators that give important contributions to nucleon decay. These operators are likely controlled by flavor physics, which means current and near future proton decay experiments might yield clues about the fermion mass spectrum. I present a thorough analysis of nucleon partial lifetimes in supersymmetric one-flavon Froggatt-Nielsen models with a single U(1)_X family symmetry which is responsible for the fermionic mass spectrum as well as forbidding R-parity violating interactions. Many of the models naturally lead to nucleon decay near present limits without any reference to grand unification.
hep group
Last modified: Wed Sep 17 21:35:31 EDT 2003