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How thermal inflation can save minimal hybrid inflation in supergravity

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
Article number20
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>12/10/2016
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics
Issue number10
Volume16
Number of pages9
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Minimal hybrid inflation in supergravity has been ruled out by the 2015 Planck observations because the spectral index of the produced curvature perturbation falls outside observational bounds. To resurrect the model, a number of modifications have been put forward but many of them spoil the accidental cancellation that resolves the η-problem and require complicated Kahler constructions to counterbalance the lost cancellation. In contrast, in this paper the model is rendered viable by supplementing the scenario with a brief period of thermal inflation, which follows the reheating of primordial inflation. The scalar field responsible for thermal inflation requires a large non-zero vacuum expectation value (VEV) and a flat potential. We investigate the VEV of such a flaton field and its subsequent effect on the inflationary observables. We find that, for large VEV, minimal hybrid inflation in supergravity produces a spectral index within the 1-σ Planck bound and a tensor-to-scalar ratio which may be observable in the near future. The mechanism is applicable to other inflationary models.