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Warm Little Inflaton becomes Dark Energy

Authors: JG Rosa, Luís B. Ventura

Ref.: Physics Letters B 798, 134984 (2019)

Abstract: We present a model where the inflaton field behaves like quintessence at late times, generating the present phase of accelerated expansion. This is achieved within the framework of warm inflation, in particular the Warm Little Inflaton scenario, where the underlying symmetries guarantee a successful inflationary period in a warm regime sustained by dissipative effects without significant backreaction on the scalar potential. This yields a smooth transition into a radiation-dominated epoch, at which point dissipative effects naturally shut down as the temperature drops below the mass of the fermions directly coupled to the inflaton. The post-inflationary dynamics is then analogous to a thawing quintessence scenario, with no kination phase at the end of inflation. Observational signatures of this scenario include the modified consistency relation between the tensor-to-scalar ratio and tensor spectral index typical of warm inflation models, the variation of the dark energy equation of state at low redshifts characteristic of thawing quintessence scenarios, and correlated dark energy isocurvature perturbations.

DOI: 10.1016/j.physletb.2019.134984