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The linear regime of tachyonic preheating

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Article number028
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>18/07/2022
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics
Issue number7
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Tachyonic preheating is realized when the inflaton repeatedly returns to a convex region of the potential during the post-inflationary oscillating phase. This will induce a strong tachyonic instability and lead to a rapid fragmentation of the coherent field that can complete within a fraction of an e-fold. In this paper, we study the linear regime of this process in a model-independent way. To this purpose, we construct simplified models that provide an analytic Floquet theoretic description of mode growth. This approach captures the essential features of well-motivated tachyonic preheating scenarios, including scenarios in which the inflaton is part of a larger scalar multiplet. We show that tachyonic preheating is efficient if the field excursions are sub-Planckian, can produce gravitational waves in the frequency range of current and future gravitational wave interferometers, and can be consistent with any experimentally allowed tensor-to-scalar ratio.