Journal article

On initial conditions for the Hot Big Bang

We analyse the process of reheating the Universe in the electroweak theory where the Higgs field plays a role of the inflaton. We estimate the maximal temperature of the Universe and fix the initial conditions for radiation-dominated phase of the Universe expansion in the framework of the Standard Model (SM) and of the νMSM - the minimal extension of the SM by three right-handed singlet fermions. We show that the inflationary epoch is followed by a matter dominated stage related to the Higgs field oscillations. We investigate the energy transfer from Higgs-inflaton to the SM particles and show that the radiation dominated phase of the Universe expansion starts at temperature Tr (3-15) × 1013GeV, where the upper bound depends on the Higgs boson mass. We estimate the production rate of singlet fermions at preheating and find that their concentrations at T r are negligibly small. This suggests that the sterile neutrino Dark Matter (DM) production and baryogenesis in the νMSM with Higgs-driven inflation are low energy phenomena, having nothing to do with inflation. We study then a modification of the νMSM, adding to its Lagrangian higher dimensional operators suppressed by the Planck scale. The role of these operators in Higgs-driven inflation is clarified. We find that these operators do not contribute to the production of Warm Dark Matter (WDM) and to baryogenesis. We also demonstrate that the sterile neutrino with mass exceeding 100keV (a Cold Dark Matter (CDM) candidate) can be created during the reheating stage of the Universe in necessary amounts. We argue that the mass of DM sterile neutrino should not exceed few MeV in order not to overclose the Universe. © 2009 IOP Publishing Ltd and SISSA.

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