All publications

A Unified Model of D-Term Inflation

Date of publication: 

2017-02-07 11:00:00

Author: 

Valerie Domcke, Kai Schmitz

Hybrid inflation, driven by a Fayet-Iliopoulos (FI) D term, is an intriguing inflationary model. In its usual formulation, it however suffers from several shortcomings. These pertain to the origin of the FI mass scale, the stability of scalar fields during inflation, gravitational corrections in supergravity, as well as to the latest constraints from the cosmic microwave background. We demonstrate that these issues can be remedied if D-term inflation is realized in the context of strongly coupled supersymmetric gauge theories. We suppose that the D term is generated in consequence of dynamical supersymmetry breaking. Moreover, we assume canonical kinetic terms in the Jordan frame as well as an approximate shift symmetry along the inflaton direction. This provides us with a unified picture of D-term inflation and high-scale supersymmetry breaking. The D term may be associated with a gauged U(1)_B-L, so that the end of inflation spontaneously breaks B-L in the visible sector.

Science with the space-based interferometer LISA. IV: Probing inflation with gravitational waves

Date of publication: 

2016-12-25 11:00:00

Author: 

Nicola Bartolo, Chiara Caprini, Valerie Domcke, Daniel G. Figueroa, Juan Garcia-Bellido, Maria Chiara Guzzetti, Michele Liguori, Sabino Matarrese, Marco Peloso, Antoine Petiteau, Angelo Ricciardone, Mairi Sakellariadou, Lorenzo Sorbo, Gianmassimo Tasinato

We investigate the potential for the LISA space-based interferometer to detect the stochastic gravitational wave background produced from different mechanisms during inflation. Focusing on well-motivated scenarios, we study the resulting contributions from particle production during inflation, inflationary spectator fields with varying speed of sound, effective field theories of inflation with specific patterns of symmetry breaking and models leading to the formation of primordial black holes. The projected sensitivities of LISA are used in a model-independent way for various detector designs and configurations. We demonstrate that LISA is able to probe these well-motivated inflationary scenarios beyond the irreducible vacuum tensor modes expected from any inflationary background.

Supergravity Contributions to Inflation in models with non-minimal coupling to gravity

Date of publication: 

2016-12-21 11:00:00

Author: 

Kumar Das, Valerie Domcke, Koushik Dutta

This paper provides a systematic study of supergravity contributions relevant for inflationary model building in Jordan frame supergravity. In this framework, canonical kinetic terms in the Jordan frame result in the separation of the Jordan frame scalar potential into a tree-level term and a supergravity contribution, which is potentially dangerous for sustaining inflation. We show that if the vacuum energy necessary for driving inflation originates dominantly from the F-term of an auxiliary field (i.e. not the inflaton), the supergravity corrections to the Jordan frame scalar potential are generically suppressed. Moreover, these supergravity contributions identically vanish if the superpotential W vanishes along the inflationary trajectory. On the other hand, if the F-term associated with the inflaton dominates the vacuum energy, the supergravity contributions are generically comparable to the globally supersymmetric contributions. In addition, the non-minimal coupling to gravity inherent to Jordan frame supergravity significantly impacts the inflationary model depending on the size and sign of this coupling. We discuss the phenomenology of some representative inflationary models, and point out the relation to the recently much discussed cosmological `attractor' models.

Universality for quintessence

Date of publication: 

2016-11-30 11:00:00

Author: 

F. Cicciarella, M. Pieroni

Abstract :

Several recent works suggested the possibility of describing inflation by means of a renormalization group equation. In this paper we discuss the application of these methods to models of quintessence. In this framework a period of exponential expansion corresponds to the slow evolution of the scalar field in the neighborhood of a fixed point. A minimal set of universality classes for models of quintessence is defined and the transition from a matter dominated to quintessence dominated universe is studied. Models in which quintessence is non-minimally coupled with gravity are also discussed. We show that the formalism proves to be extremely convenient to describe quintessence and moreover we find that in most of the models discussed in this work quintessence naturally takes over ordinary matter.

Universality in generalized models of inflation

Date of publication: 

2016-11-22 11:00:00

Author: 

Pierre Binétruy, Joel Mabillard, Mauro Pieroni

Abstract:

We show that the cosmological evolution of a scalar field with non standard kinetic term can be described in terms of a Renormalization Group Equation. In this framework inflation corresponds to the slow evolution in a neighborhood of a fixed point and universality classes for inflationary models can be naturally introduced. Using some examples we show the application of the formalism. The predicted values for the speed of sound and for the amount of non-Gaussianities produced in these models are discussed. In particular, we show that it is possible to introduce models with speed of sound different from one that can be in agreement with present cosmological observations.

Classification of inflationary models and constraints on fundamental physics

Date of publication: 

2016-11-11 11:00:00

Author: 

Mauro Pieroni

Abstract
This work is focused on the study of early time cosmology and in particular on the study of inflation. After an introduction on the standard Big Bang theory, we discuss the physics of CMB and we explain how its observations can be used to set constraints on cosmological models. We introduce inflation and we carry out its simplest realization by presenting the observables and the experimental constraints that can be set on inflationary models. The possibility of observing primordial gravitational waves (GWs) produced during inflation is discussed. We present the reasons to define a classification of inflationary models and introduce the \beta-function formalism for inflation by explaining why in this framework we can naturally define a set of universality classes for inflationary models. Theoretical motivations to support the formulation of inflation in terms of this formalism are presented. Some generalized models of inflation are introduced and the extension of the \beta-function formalism for inflation to these models is discussed. Finally we focus on the study of models where the (pseudo-scalar) inflaton is coupled to some Abelian gauge fields that can be present during inflation. The analysis of the problem is carried out by using a characterization of inflationary models in terms of their asymptotic behavior. A wide set of theoretical aspects and of observational consequences is discussed.

Consistency of the Planck CMB data and ΛCDM cosmology

Date of publication: 

2016-10-24 12:00:00

Author: 

Arman Shafieloo, Dhiraj Kumar Hazra

We test the consistency between Planck temperature and polarization power spectra and the concordance model of Λ Cold Dark Matter cosmology (ΛCDM) within the framework of Crossing statistics. We find that Planck TT best fit ΛCDM power spectrum is completely consistent with EE power spectrum data while EE best fit ΛCDM power spectrum is not consistent with TT data. However, this does not point to any systematic or model-data discrepancy since in the Planck EE data, uncertainties are much larger compared to the TT data. We also investigate the possibility of any deviation from ΛCDM model analyzing the Planck 2015 data. Results from both TT and EE data analysis indicate that no deviation is required beyond the flexibility of the concordance ΛCDM model. Our analysis thus rules out any strong evidence for beyond the concordance model in the Planck spectra data. We also report a mild amplitude difference comparing temperature and polarization data, where temperature data seems to have slightly lower amplitude than expected (consistently at all multiples), as we assume both temperature and polarization data are realizations of the same underlying cosmology.

Metastable Dark Energy with Radioactive-like Decay

Date of publication: 

2016-10-17 11:00:00

Author: 

Arman Shafieloo, Dhiraj Kumar Hazra, Varun Sahni, Alexei A. Starobinsky

We propose a new class of metastable dark energy (DE) models in which the DE decay rate does not depend on external parameters such as the scale factor or the curvature of the Universe. Instead, the DE decay rate is a function only of the intrinsic properties of DE and, in this sense, resembles the radioactive decay of particles and nuclei. As a consequence, the DE energy density becomes a function of the proper time elapsed since its formation, presumably in the very early Universe. Such a natural type of DE decay can profoundly affect the expansion history of the Universe and its age. Metastable DE can decay in three distinct ways: (i) exponentially, (ii) into dark matter, (iii) into dark radiation. Testing metastable DE models with observational data we find that the decay half-life must be larger than the age of the Universe. Models in which dark energy decays into dark matter lead to lower values of the Hubble parameter at large redshifts relative to ΛCDM. Consequently these models provide a better fit to cosmological BAO data (especially data from from high redshift quasars) than concordance (ΛCDM) cosmology.

General Relativity and Cosmology: Unsolved Questions and Future Directions

Date of publication: 

2016-09-28 14:00:00

Author: 

Ivan Debono, George F. Smoot

For the last 100 years, General Relativity (GR) has taken over the gravitational theory mantle held by Newtonian Gravity for the previous 200 years. This article reviews the status of GR in terms of its self-consistency, completeness, and the evidence provided by observations, which have allowed GR to remain the champion of gravitational theories against several other classes of competing theories. We pay particular attention to the role of GR and gravity in cosmology, one of the areas in which one gravity dominates and new phenomena and effects challenge the orthodoxy. We also review other areas where there are likely conflicts pointing to the need to replace or revise GR to represent correctly observations and consistent theoretical framework. Observations have long been key both to the theoretical liveliness and viability of GR. We conclude with a discussion of the likely developments over the next 100 years.

A Brief History of Gravitational Waves

Date of publication: 

2016-09-26 14:00:00

Author: 

Jorge L. Cervantes-Cota, Salvador Galindo-Uribarri, George F. Smoot

This review describes the discovery of gravitational waves. We recount the journey of predicting and finding those waves, since its beginning in the early twentieth century, their prediction by Einstein in 1916, theoretical and experimental blunders, efforts towards their detection, and finally the subsequent successful discovery.

Pages

Connect with us

We're on Social Networks. Follow us & get in touch.