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Publication# Lattice formulation of axion inflation. Application to preheating

Abstract

We present a lattice formulation of an interaction phi/Lambda F (F) over tilde between an axion and some U(1) gauge sector with the following properties: it reproduces the continuum theory up to O(dx(mu)(2)) corrections, it preserves exact gauge invariance and shift symmetry on the lattice, and it is suitable for self-consistent expansion of the Universe. The lattice equations of motion can no longer be solved by explicit methods, but we propose an implicit method to overcome this difficulty, which preserves the relevant system constraints down to arbitrary (tunable) precision. As a first application we study, in a comoving grid in (3 +1) dimensions, the last efolds of axion-inflation with quadratic potential and the preheating stage following afterwards. We fully account for the inhomogeneity and non-linearity of the system, including the gauge field contribution to the expansion rate of the Universe and its backreaction into the axion dynamics. We characterize in detail, as a function of the coupling, the energy transfer from the axion to the gauge field. Two coupling regimes are identified, sub- and super-critical, depending on whether the final energy fraction stored in the gauge field is below or above similar to 50% of the total energy. The Universe is very efficiently reheated for super-critical couplings, rapidly entering in a radiation dominated stage. Our results on preheating confirm previously published results.

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Related publications (1)

Related concepts (18)

Related MOOCs (9)

Gauge theory

In physics, a gauge theory is a field theory in which the Lagrangian is invariant under local transformations according to certain smooth families of operations (Lie groups). The term gauge refers to any specific mathematical formalism to regulate redundant degrees of freedom in the Lagrangian of a physical system. The transformations between possible gauges, called gauge transformations, form a Lie group—referred to as the symmetry group or the gauge group of the theory. Associated with any Lie group is the Lie algebra of group generators.

Axion

An axion (ˈæksiɒn) is a hypothetical elementary particle originally postulated by the Peccei–Quinn theory in 1977 to resolve the strong CP problem in quantum chromodynamics (QCD). If axions exist and have low mass within a specific range, they are of interest as a possible component of cold dark matter. As shown by Gerard 't Hooft, strong interactions of the standard model, QCD, possess a non-trivial vacuum structure that in principle permits violation of the combined symmetries of charge conjugation and parity, collectively known as CP.

System

A system is a group of interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its environment, is described by its boundaries, structure and purpose and is expressed in its functioning. Systems are the subjects of study of systems theory and other systems sciences. Systems have several common properties and characteristics, including structure, function(s), behavior and interconnectivity.

La transition énergique suisse / Energiewende in der Schweiz

La transition énergique suisse / Energiewende in der Schweiz

The first MOOC to teach the basics of plasma physics and its main applications: fusion energy, astrophysical and space plasmas, societal and industrial applications

Daniel Garcia Figueroa, Adrien Florio, Wessel Valkenburg, Francisco Torrenti

We present a comprehensive discussion on lattice techniques for the simulation of scalar and gauge field dynamics in an expanding universe. After reviewing the continuum formulation of scalar and gauge field interactions in Minkowski and FLRW backgrounds, we introduce the basic tools for the discretization of field theories, including lattice gauge invariant techniques. Following, we discuss and classify numerical algorithms, ranging from methods of O(delta t(2)) accuracy like staggered leapfrog and Verlet integration, to Runge-Kutta methods up to O(delta t(4)) accuracy, and the Yoshida and Gauss-Legendre higher-order integrators, accurate up to O(delta t(10)) We adapt these methods for their use in classical lattice simulations of the non-linear dynamics of scalar and gauge fields in an expanding grid in 3+1 dimensions, including the case of 'self-consistent' expansion sourced by the volume average of the fields' energy and pressure densities. We present lattice formulations of canonical cases of: i) Interacting scalar fields, ii) Abelian U(1) gauge theories, and iii) Non-Abelian SU(2) gauge theories. In all three cases we provide symplectic integrators, with accuracy ranging from O(delta t(2)) up to O(delta t(10)) For each algorithm we provide the form of relevant observables, such as energy density components, field spectra and the Hubble constraint. We note that all our algorithms for gauge theories always respect the Gauss constraint to machine precision, including when 'self-consistent' expansion is considered. As a numerical example we analyze the post-inflationary dynamics of an oscillating inflaton charged under SU(2) x U(1). We note that the present manuscript is meant to be part of the theoretical basis for the code CosmoLattice, a multi-purpose MPI-based package for simulating the non-linear evolution of field theories in an expanding universe, publicly available at http://www.cosrnolattice.net.

2021