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Inflationary buildup of a vector field condensate and its cosmological consequences

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
Article number012
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>10/01/2014
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics
Issue number1
Volume2014
Number of pages32
Publication statusPublished
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Light vector fields during inflation obtain a superhorizon perturbation spectrum when their conformal invariance is appropriately broken. Such perturbations, by means of some suitable mechanism (e.g. the vector curvaton mechanism), can contribute to the curvature perturbation in the Universe and produce characteristic signals, such as statistical anisotropy, on the microwave sky, most recently surveyed by the Planck satellite mission. The magnitude of such characteristic features crucially depends on the magnitude of the vector condensate generated during inflation. However, in the vast majority of the literature the expectation value of this condensate has so-far been taken as a free parameter, lacking a definite prediction or a physically motivated estimate. In this paper, we study the stochastic evolution of the vector condensate and obtain an estimate for its magnitude. Our study is mainly focused in the supergravity inspired case when the kinetic function and mass of the vector boson is time-varying during inflation, but other cases are also explored such as a parity violating axial theory or a non-minimal coupling between the vector field and gravity. As an example, we apply our findings in the context of the vector curvaton mechanism and contrast our results with current observations.

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Article funded by SCOAP3. Content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 licence. Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI.