Regular Article – Theoretical Physics
Axion monodromy inflation, trapping mechanisms and the swampland
Institute of Theoretical Physics, ETH Zürich, 8093, Zurich, Switzerland
2 Department of Physics, McGill University, H3A 2T8, Montreal, QC, Canada
Accepted: 5 February 2021
Published online: 17 February 2021
We study the effects of particle production on the evolution of the inflaton field in an axion monodromy model with the goal of discovering in which situations the resulting dynamics will be consistent with the swampland constraints. In the presence of a modulated potential the evolving background field (solution of the inflaton homogeneous in space) induces the production of long wavelength inflaton fluctuation modes. However, this either has a negligible effect on the inflaton dynamics (if the field spacing between local minima of the modulated potential is large), or else it traps the inflaton in a local minimum and leads to a graceful exit problem. On the other hand, the production of moduli fields at enhanced symmetry points can lead to a realization of trapped inflation consistent with the swampland constraints, as long as the coupling between the inflaton and the moduli fields is sufficiently large.
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