Stringy-running-vacuum-model inflation: from primordial gravitational waves and stiff axion matter to dynamical dark energy
Theoretical Particle Physics and Cosmology Group, Physics Department, King’s College London, Strand, WC2R 2LS, London, UK
2 Departament de Física Quàntica i Astrofísica, and Institute of Cosmos Sciences (ICCUB), Universitat de Barcelona, Av. Diagonal 647, 08028, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Accepted: 4 June 2021
Published online: 21 June 2021
In previous works, we have derived a Running Vacuum Model (RVM) for a string Universe, which provides an effective description of the evolution of 4-dimensional string-inspired cosmologies from inflation till the present epoch. In the context of this “stringy RVM” version, it is assumed that the early Universe is characterised by purely gravitational degrees of freedom, from the massless gravitational string multiplet, including the antisymmetric tensor field. The latter plays an important role, since its dual gives rise to a ‘stiff’ gravitational axion “matter”, which in turn couples to the gravitational anomaly terms, assumed to be non-trivial at early epochs. In the presence of primordial gravitational wave (GW) perturbations, such anomalous couplings lead to an RVM-like dynamical inflation, without external inflatons. We review here this framework and discuss potential scenarios for the generation of such primordial GW, among which the formation of unstable domain walls, which eventually collapse in a non-spherical-symmetric manner, giving rise to GW. We also remark that the same type of “stiff” axionic matter could provide, upon the generation of appropriate potentials during the post-inflationary eras, (part of) the Dark Matter (DM) in the Universe, which could well be ultralight, depending on the parameters of the string-inspired model. All in all, the new (stringy) mechanism for RVM inflation preserves the basic structure of the original (and more phenomenological) RVM, as well as its main advantages: namely, a mechanism for graceful exit and for generating a huge amount of entropy capable of explaining the horizon problem. It also predicts axionic DM and the existence of mild dynamical Dark Energy (DE) of quintessence type in the present universe, both being “living fossils” of the inflationary stages of the cosmic evolution. Altogether the modern RVM appears to be a theoretically sound (string-based) approach to cosmology with a variety of phenomenologically testable consequences.
© The Author(s) 2021
Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.