Journal Article

Dark energy as double N-flation – observational predictions

J. Richard Gott and Zachary Slepian

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 416, issue 2, pages 907-916
Published in print September 2011 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online September 2011 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Dark energy as double N-flation – observational predictions

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We propose a simple model for dark energy useful for comparison with observations. It is based on the idea that dark energy and inflation should be caused by the same physical process. As motivation, we note that Linde’s simple chaotic inflation produces values of ns= 0.967 and r= 0.13, which are consistent with the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) 1σ error bars. We therefore propose with m1∼ 10−5 and m2≤ 10−60, where c= 1 =ℎ and the reduced Planck mass is set to unity. The field φ1 drives inflation and has damped by now (φ1, 0= 0), while φ2 is currently rolling down its potential to produce dark energy. Using this model, we derive the formula δw(z) ≡w(z) + 1 =δw0(H0/H(z))2 via the slow-roll approximation. Our numerical results from exact and self-consistent solution of the equations of motion for φ2 and the Friedmann equations support this formula, and it should hold for any slow-roll dark energy.

Our potential can be easily realized in N-flation models with many fields, and is easily falsifiable by upcoming experiments – for example, if Linde’s chaotic inflation is ruled out. But if r values consistent with Linde’s chaotic inflation are detected then one should take this model seriously indeed.

Keywords: cosmological parameters; cosmology: theory; dark energy; inflation

Journal Article.  8163 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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