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Cosmology of Axions and Moduli



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Recording Details

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PIRSA Number: 
12050012

Abstract

I will discuss string cosmology and the dynamics of multiple scalar fields in potentials that can become negative, and their features as (Early) Dark Energy models. The point of departure is the ``String Axiverse'', a scenario that motivates the existence of cosmologically light axion fields as a generic consequence of string theory. These fields can constitute part of the Dark Matter, suppressing structure formation in a manner similar to massive neutrinos. Future observations will constrain their existence to percent level accuracy. I couple such an axion to its corresponding modulus and give a detailed presentation of the rich cosmology of such a model, ranging from the setting of initial conditions on the fields during inflation, to the asymptotic future. A dynamical systems analysis reveals the existence of many fixed point attractors, repellers and saddle points, which I analyse in detail, and provide a geometric interpretation of. These fixed points can be used to bound the couplings in the model. A systematic scan of certain regions of parameter space reveals that the future evolution of the universe in this model can be rich, containing multiple epochs of accelerated expansion.

(Given time) I will also discuss the relevance of isocurvature perturbations in these models, and the motivation to study negative (terminal) vauca in the context of eternal inflation and the string landscape, as recently discussed by Susskind.

(based primarily on Marsh, Tarrant, Copeland and Ferreira (to appear) but also arXiv:1102.4851  arXiv:1110.0502)