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Content archived on 2024-05-29

Inflation, dark energy and string theory


For decades it was believed that matter and radiation are the most dominant form of energy in the universe and that as a result the universe is decelerating. However, recent experiments show that the universe is actually accelerating and thus it is dominated by an unusual form of energy, known as dark energy.

This form of energy induces a repulsive gravitational force which leads to the acceleration of the universe. Understanding dark energy from a particle physics perspective is a long-standing problem, usually referred to as the cosmological constant problem. Even more recently, direct experimental evidence was found for a period of acceleration in the early universe, known as cosmic inflation. While the fact that the universe is currently accelerating came as a surprise, cosmic inflation was in fact predicted about 25 years ago as a resolution to various problems with the standard big-bang model. Moreover, inflation plays a crucial role in providing the seed for the large-scale structure in the universe.

This raises the natural question: Is the current cosmic acceleration related to the early universe cosmic inflation? Since the acceleration in the early universe was much faster than it is now, it seems hard to come up with a precise relation between the two periods of accelerations. Very recently I proposed a model that addresses this issue. The model leads to many intriguing predictions that could be studied in experiments in the near future. The main objective of my proposal is to study in detail various aspects of the model and to explore in depth its predictions. In particular I would like to study phenomenological aspects of the model, such as large-scale formation, baryogenesis and its possible relation to neutrinophysics. Another direction that I wish to explore is possible realizations of the model in string theory.


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