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Non-perturbative aspects of reheating


Research objectives and content
A key problem in inflationary models of cosmology is the mechanism by which ordinary matter is produced from the quantum fields driving the initial exponential expansion - the so-called inflaton fields. It was only recently realised that the energy transfer process may be completely dominated by non-perturbative effects. Numerical and analytical studies of the problem have confirmed that a resonance mechanism closely related to the phenomenon of parametric resonance in classical mechanics can lead to rapid decay of the inflaton. Preliminary investigations suggest that due to the peculiar non-perturbative nature of the mechanism the evolution of the Universe after inflation may be qualitatively different from predictions based on the old theory of reheating. In this project we propose to study in detail,both numerically and analytically, the most important new effects arising from the resonant inflaton decay. These include the possibility of non-thermal phase transitions and the associated production of topological defects, as well as a novel mechanism for GUT baryogenesis. We will also investigate the effectiveness of the resonance mechanism for inflationary models outside the class that has been studied in the literature so far. Training content (objective, benefit and expected impact)
Prof. Turok is one of the leading cosmologists in the world and I expect to benefit greatly from his insights into the physics of the early Universe. The proposed project will introduce me to a variety of new analytical and computational techniques that will be important tools in future work. The diverse nature of the physical phenomena under investigation will significantly broaden my knowledge of the field and greatly enhance my ability to select and pursue future research projects. Links with industry /industrial relevance (22)

Funding Scheme

RGI - Research grants (individual fellowships)


University of Cambridge
Silver Street
CB3 9EW Cambridge
United Kingdom

Participants (1)

Not available