Bare mass effects on the reheating process after inflation

Simon Clery, Marcos A.G. Garcia, Yann Mambrini, Keith A. Olive

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We consider the effects of a bare mass term for the inflaton, when the inflationary potential takes the form V(φ)=λφk about its minimum with k≥4. We concentrate on k=4, but discuss general cases as well. Further, we assume λφend2≫mφ2, where φend is the inflaton field value when the inflationary expansion ends. We show that the presence of a mass term (which may be present due to radiative corrections or supersymmetry breaking) can significantly alter the reheating process, as the equation of state of the inflaton condensate changes from wφ=13 to wφ=0 when λφ2 drops below mφ2. We show that, for a mass mφ≳3λ14TRH, the mass term will dominate at reheating. The value of λ is relatively model independent as it is normalized by the cosmic microwave background perturbation spectrum. For T models of inflation, this leads to mφ≳TRH/250. We compute the effects on the reheating temperature for cases where reheating is due to inflaton decay (to fermions, scalars, or vectors) or to inflaton scattering (to scalars or vectors). For scattering to scalars and in the absence of a decay, there is always a residual inflaton background that acts as cold dark matter. In this case, we derive a strong upper limit to the inflaton bare mass which for T models is mφ<350 MeV(TRH/1010 GeV)3/5. We also consider the effect of the bare mass term on the fragmentation of the inflaton condensate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103540
JournalPhysical Review D
Volume109
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - May 15 2024

Bibliographical note

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© 2024 authors. Published by the American Physical Society. Published by the American Physical Society under the terms of the "https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/"Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license. Further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the published article's title, journal citation, and DOI. Funded by SCOAP3.

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