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ν-inflaton dark matter

Authors: António Torres Manso, JG Rosa

Ref.: JHEP 02, 020 (2019)

Abstract: We present a unified model where the same scalar field can drive inflation and account for the present dark matter abundance. This scenario is based on the incomplete decay of the inflaton field into right-handed neutrino pairs, which is accomplished by imposing a discrete interchange symmetry on the inflaton and on two of the right-handed neutrinos. We show that this can lead to a successful reheating of the Universe after inflation, while leaving a stable inflaton remnant at late times. This remnant may be in the form of WIMP-like inflaton particles or of an oscillating inflaton condensate, depending on whether or not the latter evaporates and reaches thermal equilibrium with the cosmic plasma. We further show that this scenario is compatible with generating light neutrino masses and mixings through the seesaw mechanism, predicting at least one massless neutrino, and also the observed baryon asymmetry via thermal leptogenesis.