Simple Exercises to Flatten your Potential

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We show how backreaction of the inflaton potential energy on heavy scalar fields can flatten the inflationary potential, as the heavy fields adjust to their most energetically favorable configuration. This mechanism operates in previous UV-complete examples of axion monodromy inflation - flattening a would-be quadratic potential to one linear in the inflaton field - but occurs more generally, and we illustrate the effect with several examples. Special choices of compactification minimizing backreaction may realize chaotic inflation with a quadratic potential, but we argue that a flatter potential such as power-law inflation V({phi}) {proportional_to} {phi}{sup p} with p < 2 is ... continued below

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20 pages

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Dong, Xi; Horn, Bart; Silverstein, Eva; /SLAC /Santa Barbara, KITP; Westphal, Alexander & /SLAC, /DESY August 12, 2011.

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We show how backreaction of the inflaton potential energy on heavy scalar fields can flatten the inflationary potential, as the heavy fields adjust to their most energetically favorable configuration. This mechanism operates in previous UV-complete examples of axion monodromy inflation - flattening a would-be quadratic potential to one linear in the inflaton field - but occurs more generally, and we illustrate the effect with several examples. Special choices of compactification minimizing backreaction may realize chaotic inflation with a quadratic potential, but we argue that a flatter potential such as power-law inflation V({phi}) {proportional_to} {phi}{sup p} with p < 2 is a more generic option at sufficiently large values of {phi}.

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20 pages

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  • Journal Name: Phys.Rev.D84:026011,2011; Journal Volume: 84; Journal Issue: 2

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  • Report No.: SLAC-PUB-14305
  • Grant Number: AC02-76SF00515
  • DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.84.026011 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1022575
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc829549

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  • August 12, 2011

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  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

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  • Dec. 7, 2016, 9:13 p.m.

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Dong, Xi; Horn, Bart; Silverstein, Eva; /SLAC /Santa Barbara, KITP; Westphal, Alexander & /SLAC, /DESY. Simple Exercises to Flatten your Potential, article, August 12, 2011; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc829549/: accessed October 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.