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Publication# Inconsistency of an inflationary sector coupled only to Einstein gravity

Résumé

From a model-building perspective, the inflationary sector might very well have no direct couplings to other species, apart from inevitable gravitational interactions. Within the context of General Relativity, a thermal universe can still emerge after inflation if: i) some radiation sector is excited towards the end of inflation, and ii) the post-inflationary equation of state becomes sufficiently stiff w >= w(RD) greater than or similar to 0:57, with wRD a threshold depending on the inflationary scale H-* and the initial radiation-to-inflaton energy ratio Delta(*). Furthermore, a stiff period in the expansion history enhances significantly the inflationary gravitational wave (GW) background, making this signal (potentially) observable by aLIGO, LISA and other experiments. The very same enhancement leads however to an inconsistency of the scenario: the energy of the GWs becomes too large compared to the rest of the radiation sector, violating standard BBN and CMB bounds on GW backgrounds. Except for very special scenarios where the initial radiation sector comprises hundreds of fields with couplings tuned to specific values, our result applies independently of w, H-* and Delta(*). This suggests that in order to reheat the universe, the inflationary sector should be coupled directly to other particle species. Alternatively the inflationary sector could be implemented in modified gravity theories.

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Currently, the best theoretical description of fundamental matter and its gravitational interaction is given by the Standard Model (SM) of particle physics and Einstein's theory of General Relativity (GR). These theories contain a number of seemingly unrelated scales. While Newton's gravitational constant and the mass of the Higgs boson are parameters in the classical action, the masses of other elementary particles are due to the electroweak symmetry breaking. Yet other scales, like ΛQCD associated to the strong interaction, only appear after the quantization of the theory. We reevaluate the idea that the fundamental theory of nature may contain no fixed scales and that all observed scales could have a common origin in the spontaneous break-down of exact scale invariance. To this end, we consider a few minimal scale-invariant extensions of GR and the SM, focusing especially on their cosmological phenomenology. In the simplest considered model, scale invariance is achieved through the introduction of a dilaton field. We find that for a large class of potentials, scale invariance is spontaneously broken, leading to induced scales at the classical level. The dilaton is exactly massless and practically decouples from all SM fields. The dynamical break-down of scale invariance automatically provides a mechanism for inflation. Despite exact scale invariance, the theory generally contains a cosmological constant, or, put in other words, flat spacetime need not be a solution. We next replace standard gravity by Unimodular Gravity (UG). This results in the appearance of an arbitrary integration constant in the equations of motion, inducing a run-away potential for the dilaton. As a consequence, the dilaton can play the role of a dynamical dark-energy component. The cosmological phenomenology of the model combining scale invariance and unimodular gravity is studied in detail. We find that the equation of state of the dilaton condensate has to be very close to the one of a cosmological constant. If the spacetime symmetry group of the gravitational action is reduced from the group of all diffeomorphisms (Diff) to the subgroup of transverse diffeomorphisms (TDiff), the metric in general contains a propagating scalar degree of freedom. We show that the replacement of Diff by TDiff makes it possible to construct a scale-invariant theory of gravity and particle physics in which the dilaton appears as a part of the metric. We find the conditions under which such a theory is a viable description of particle physics and in particular reproduces the SM phenomenology. The minimal theory with scale invariance and UG is found to be a particular case of a theory with scale and TDiff invariance. Moreover, cosmological solutions in models based on scale and TDiff invariance turn out to generically be similar to the solutions of the model with UG. In usual quantum field theories, scale invariance is anomalous. This might suggest that results based on classical scale invariance are necessarily spoiled by quantum corrections. We show that this conclusion is not true. Namely, we propose a new renormalization scheme which allows to construct a class of quantum field theories that are scale-invariant to all orders of perturbation theory and where the scale symmetry is spontaneously broken. In this type of theory, all scales, including those related to dimensional transmutation, like ΛQCD, appear as a consequence of the spontaneous break-down of the scale symmetry. The proposed theories are not renormalizable. Nonetheless, they are valid effective theories below a field-dependent cut-off scale. If the scale-invariant renormalization scheme is applied to the presented minimal scale-invariant extensions of GR and the SM, the goal of having a common origin of all scales, spontaneous breaking of scale invariance, is achieved.

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Symmetries are omnipresent and play a fundamental role in the description of Nature. Thanks to them, we have at our disposal nontrivial selection rules that dictate how a theory should be constructed. This thesis, which is naturally divided into two parts, is devoted to the broad physical implications that spacetime symmetries can have on the systems that posses them. In the first part, we focus on local symmetries. We review in detail the techniques of a self-consistent framework -- the coset construction -- that we employed in order to discuss the dynamics of the theories of interest. The merit of this approach lies in that we can make the (spacetime) symmetry group act internally and thus, be effectively separated from coordinate transformations. We investigate under which conditions it is not needed to introduce extra compensating fields to make relativistic as well as nonrelativistic theories invariant under local spacetime symmetries and more precisely under scale (Weyl) transformations. In addition, we clarify the role that the field strength associated with shifts (torsion) plays in this context. We also highlight the difference between the frequently mixed concepts of Weyl and conformal invariance and we demonstrate that not all conformal theories (in flat or curved spacetime), can be coupled to gravity in a Weyl invariant way. Once this ``minimalistic'' treatment for gauging symmetries is left aside, new possibilities appear. Namely, if we consider the Poincar'e group, the presence of the compensating modes leads to nontrivial particle dynamics. We investigate in detail their behavior and we derive constraints such that the theory is free from pathologies. In the second part of the thesis, we make clear that even when not gauged, the presence of spontaneously broken (global) scale invariance can be quite appealing. First of all, it makes possible for the various dimensionful parameters that appear in a theory to be generated dynamically and be sourced by the vacuum expectation value of the Goldstone boson of the nonlinearly realized symmetry -- the dilaton. If the Standard Model of particle physics is embedded into a scale-invariant framework, a number of interesting implications for cosmology arise. As it turns out, the early inflationary stage of our Universe and its present-day acceleration become linked, a connection that might give us some insight into the dark energy dynamics. Moreover, we show that in the context of gravitational theories which are invariant under restricted coordinate transformations, the dilaton instead of being introduced ad hoc, can emerge from the gravitational part of a theory. Finally, we discuss the consequences of the nontrivial way this field emerges in the action.

We postulate an exact permutation symmetry acting on 10(32) standard model copies as the largest possible symmetry extension of the standard model. This setup automatically lowers the fundamental gravity cutoff down to TeV, and thus, accounts for the quantum stability of the weak scale. We study the phenomenology of this framework and show that below TeV energies the copies are well hidden, obeying all the existing observational bounds. Nevertheless, we identify a potential low energy window into the hidden world, the oscillation of the neutron into its dark copies. At the same time, proton decay can be suppressed by gauging the diagonal baryon number of the different copies. This framework offers an alternative approach to several particle physics questions. For example, we suggest a novel mechanism for generating naturally small neutrino masses that are suppressed by the number of neutrino species. The mirror copies of the standard model naturally house dark matter candidates. The general experimentally observable prediction of this scenario is an emergence of strong gravitational effects at the LHC. The low energy permutation symmetry powerfully constrains the form of this new gravitational physics and allows to make observational predictions, such as, production of micro black holes with very peculiar properties.

2009