Can Dark Energy Have a Color?

Recording Details

Speaker(s): 
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PIRSA Number: 
08060145

Abstract

About 20-30 years ago, scientific community was interested in knowing whether dark matter can carry gauge charges. The answer was found to be no. Today, we can ask a similar question: Can dark energy carry gauge charges? The answer this time seems to be yes. We study the possibility that the current accelerated expansion of the universe is driven by the vacuum energy density of a colored scalar field which is responsible for a phase transition in which the gauge SU(3)_c symmetry breaks. If we are stuck in a SU(3)_c - preserving false vacuum, then SU(3)_c symmetry breaking can be accommodated without violating any experimental QCD bounds or bounds from cosmological observations. As a bonus, the model can likely be tested at the LHC. A possible consequence of the model is the existence of fractionally charged massive hadrons. The model can be embedded in supersymmetric theories where massive colored scalar fields appear naturally.