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Imprints of Quantum Gravity on Large Field Inflation and Reheating

Rompineve Sorbello, Fabrizio

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Abstract

In this thesis we investigate the feasibility and phenomenology of transplanckian field displacements during Inflation as well as the production of very light fields during Reheating. We begin by focusing on realisations of axion inflation in the complex structure moduli sector of Type IIB String Theory (ST) flux compactifications. Firstly, we analyse the problem of backreaction of complex structure moduli on the inflationary trajectory in a concrete model of axion monodromy inflation. Secondly, we propose a realisation of natural inflation where the inflaton arises as a combination of two axions. In both cases we find sufficiently flat inflationary potentials over a limited, but transplanckian field range. However, our realisation of axion monodromy inflation requires a potentially large, though realisable, number of tunings to ensure that the inflationary shift symmetry is only weakly broken. The consequences of the Weak Gravity Conjecture (WGC) for axion monodromy inflation are then explored. We find that the conjecture provides a bound on the inflationary field range, but does not forbid transplanckian displacements. Moreover, we provide a strategy to generalise the WGC to general p-form gauge theories in ST. Finally, we focus on the physics of the early post-inflationary phase. We show that axion monodromy inflation can lead to a phase decomposition, followed by the radiation of potentially detectable gravitational waves. We also propose a strategy to evade the overproduction of Dark Radiation in the Large Volume Scenario of moduli stabilisation, by means of flavour branes wrapping the bulk cycle of the compactification manifold.

Item Type: Dissertation
Supervisor: Hebecker, Prof. Dr. Arthur
Date of thesis defense: 18 April 2017
Date Deposited: 18 May 2017 09:53
Date: 2017
Faculties / Institutes: The Faculty of Physics and Astronomy > Institute for Theoretical Physics
Subjects: 530 Physics
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