We investigate the effects of bosonic trilinear interactions in preheating after chaotic inflation. A trilinear interaction term allows for the complete decay of the massive inflaton particles, which is necessary for the transition to radiation domination. We found that typically the trilinear term is subdominant during early stages of preheating, but it actually amplifies parametric resonance driven by the four-legs interaction. In cases where the trilinear term does dominate during preheating, the process occurs through periodic tachyonic amplifications with resonance effects, which is so effective that preheating completes within a few inflaton oscillations. We develop an analytic theory of this process, which we call tachyonic resonance. We also study numerically the influence of trilinear interactions on the dynamics after preheating. The trilinear term eventually comes to dominate after preheating, leading to faster rescattering and thermalization than could occur without it. Finally, we investigate the role of non-renormalizable interaction terms during preheating. We find that if they are present they generally dominate (while still in a controllable regime) in chaotic inflation models. Preheating due to these terms proceeds through a modified form of tachyonic resonance.
- Physics of the early universe