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Spontaneous discrete symmetry breaking during inflation and the NMSSM domain wall problem

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

  • John McDonald
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>12/10/1998
<mark>Journal</mark>Nuclear Physics B
Issue number1-2
Number of pages21
Pages (from-to)325-345
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The Next to Minimal Supersymmetric Standard Model (NMSSM), proposed as a solution of the mu problem of the Minimal Supersymmetric Standard Model, has a discrete Z(3) symmetry which is spontaneously broken at the electroweak phase transition, resulting in a cosmological domain wall problem. In most cases this domain wall problem cannot be solved by explicit Z(3) breaking without introducing supergravity tadpole corrections which destabilize the weak scale hierarchy. Here we consider the possibility of solving the domain wall problem of the NMSSM via spontaneous discrete symmetry breaking occurring during inflation. For the case where the discrete symmetry breaking field has renormalizable couplings to the NMSSM fields, we find that the couplings must be less than 10(-5) if the reheating temperature is larger than 10(7) GeV, but can be up to 10(-3) for reheating temperatures of the order of the electroweak phase transition temperature, For the case of non-renormalizable couplings, we present a model which can solve the domain wall problem for large reheating temperatures without requiring any very small coupling constants. In this model the domain walls are eliminated by a pressure coming from their interaction with a coherently oscillating scalar field whose phase is fixed during inflation. This oscillating scalar field typically decays after the electroweak phase transition but before nucleosynthesis, leaving no additional Z(3) symmetry breaking in the zero-temperature theory. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science B.V.