Cosmological moduli and the post-inflationary universe: A critical review

Gordon Kane, Kuver Sinha, Scott Watson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

69 Scopus citations

Abstract

We critically review the role of cosmological moduli in determining the post-inflationary history of the universe. Moduli are ubiquitous in string and M-theory constructions of beyond the Standard Model physics, where they parametrize the geometry of the compactification manifold. For those with masses determined by supersymmetry (SUSY) breaking this leads to their eventual decay slightly before Big Bang nucleosynthesis (BBN) (without spoiling its predictions). This results in a matter dominated phase shortly after inflation ends, which can influence baryon and dark matter genesis, as well as observations of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) and the growth of large-scale structure. Given progress within fundamental theory, and guidance from dark matter and collider experiments, nonthermal histories have emerged as a robust and theoretically well-motivated alternative to a strictly thermal one. We review this approach to the early universe and discuss both the theoretical challenges and the observational implications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1530022
JournalInternational Journal of Modern Physics D
Volume24
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 14 2015

Keywords

  • Cosmology
  • dark matter
  • supersymmetry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mathematical Physics
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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