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Can dark matter drive electroweak symmetry breaking?

Authors: Cosme, C; Rosa, JG; Bertolami, O

Ref.: Phys. Rev. D 102(6), 063507 (2020)

Abstract: We consider the possibility of an oscillating scalar field accounting for dark matter and dynamically controlling the spontaneous breaking of the electroweak symmetry through a Higgs-portal coupling. This requires a late decay of the inflaton field, such that thermal effects do not restore the electroweak symmetry after reheating, and so inflation is followed by an inflaton matter-dominated epoch. During inflation, the dark scalar field acquires a large expectation value due to a negative nonminimal coupling to curvature, thus stabilizing the Higgs field by holding it at the origin. After inflation, the dark scalar oscillates in a quartic potential, behaving as dark radiation, and only when its amplitude drops below a critical value does the Higgs field acquire a nonzero vacuum expectation value. The dark scalar then becomes massive and starts behaving as cold dark matter until the present day. We further show that consistent scenarios require dark scalar masses in the few GeV range, which may be probed with future collider experiments.

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.102.063507