Regular Article – Theoretical Physics
Escape from supercooling with or without bubbles: gravitational wave signatures
Faculty of Physics, University of Warsaw, ul. Pasteura 5, 02-093, Warsaw, Poland
2 Institut de Fisica d’Altes Energies (IFAE), The Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology, Campus UAB, 08193, Bellaterra, Barcelona, Spain
Accepted: 19 September 2021
Published online: 29 September 2021
Quasi-conformal models are an appealing scenario that can offer naturally a strongly supercooled phase transition and a period of thermal inflation in the early Universe. A crucial aspect for the viability of these models is how the Universe escapes from the supercooled state. One possibility is that thermal inflation phase ends by nucleation and percolation of true vacuum bubbles. This route is not, however, always efficient. In such case another escape mechanism, based on the growth of quantum fluctuations of the scalar field that eventually destabilize the false vacuum, becomes relevant. We study both of these cases in detail in a simple yet representative model. We determine the duration of the thermal inflation, the curvature power spectrum generated for the scales that exit horizon during the thermal inflation, and the stochastic gravitational wave background from the phase transition. We show that these gravitational waves provide an observable signal from the thermal inflation in almost the entire parameter space of interest. Furthermore, the shape of the gravitational wave spectrum can be used to ascertain how the Universe escaped from supercooling.
© The Author(s) 2021
Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Funded by SCOAP3