2018 Impact factor 4.843
Particles and Fields
Eur. Phys. J. C 5, 369-376
DOI 10.1007/s100529800842

The inflaton as dark matter

S. Barshay - G. Kreyerhoff

III. Physikalisches Institut A, RWTH Aachen, D-52056 Aachen, Germany

Received: 26 November 1997 / Revised version: 8 December 1997 / Published online: 24 March 1998

Within the framework of an explicit dynamical model, in which we calculate the radiatively-corrected, tree-level potential that sets up inflation, we show that the inflaton can be a significant part of dark matter today. We exhibit potentials with both a maximum and a minimum. Using the calculated position of the potential minimum, and an estimate for fluctuations of the inflaton field in the early universe, we calculate a contribution to the matter energy density of $(1-2)\times 10^{-47}\;\mbox{GeV}^4$ in the present universe, from cold inflatons with mass of about $6\times 10^9\;\mbox{GeV}$. We show that the inflaton might decay in a specific way, and we calculate a possible lifetime that is several orders of magnitude greater than the present age of the universe. Inflaton decay is related to an interaction which, together with a spontaneous breakdown of CP invariance at a cosmological energy scale, can give rise to a neutrino-antineutrino asymmetry just prior to the time of electroweak symmetry breaking.

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