Scalaron-Higgs inflation

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In scalaron-Higgs inflation the Standard Model Higgs boson is non-minimally coupled to gravity and the Einstein-Hilbert action is supplemented by the quadratic scalar curvature invariant. For the quartic Higgs self-coupling λ fixed at the electroweak scale, we find that the resulting inflationary two-field model effectively reduces to a single field model with the same predictions as in Higgs inflation or Starobinsky inflation, including the limit of a vanishing non-minimal coupling. For the same model, but with the scalar field a priori not identified with the Standard Model Higgs boson, we study the inflationary consequences of an extremely small λ. Depending on the initial conditions for the inflationary background trajectories, we find that the two-field dynamics either again reduces to an effective single-field model with a larger tensor-to-scalar ratio than predicted in Higgs inflation and Starobinsky inflation, or involves the full two-field dynamics and leads to oscillatory features in the inflationary power spectrum. Finally, we investigate under which conditions the inflationary scenario with extremely small λ can be realized dynamically by the Standard Model renormalization group flow and discuss how the scalaron-Higgs model can provide a natural way to stabilize the electroweak vacuum.




Gundhi, A., & Steinwachs, C. F. (2020). Scalaron-Higgs inflation. Nuclear Physics B, 954.

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