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HET Seminars | Might the Dark Matter Also Be the Inflaton?

Dan Hooper (FNAL)
Friday, September 14, 2018
3:00-4:00 PM
335 West Hall Map
Dark matter and inflation represent two of the biggest open question in cosmology. Although they are generally thought of as distinct and unrelated phenomena, here I will ask whether they might be closely connected. In particular, I will describe a class of models in which a stable inflaton is produced as a thermal relic in the early universe and constitutes the dark matter. I will show that the annihilations of these inflatons can efficiently reheat the universe, and I will identify several examples of inflationary potentials within this scenario which can accommodate all cosmic microwave background observables. As a simple example, I will discuss a model in which inflaton annihilations that take place through a Higgs portal interaction, leading to encouraging prospects for future direct detection experiments.
Building: West Hall
Event Type: Workshop / Seminar
Tags: Faculty, Free, Graduate Students, Lecture, Natural Sciences, Physics, Science, Talk, Undergraduate Students
Source: Happening @ Michigan from HET Seminars, Department of Physics