BSM PANDEMIC Double Feature - Azadeh Maleknejad (CERN) & Nathan Musoke (UNH)


Speaker:   Azadeh Maleknejad (CERN)

Title:         Is Our Universe the Remnant of Chiral Anomaly in Inflation?

Abstract:  Modern cosmology has been remarkably successful in describing the Universe from a second after the Big Bang until today. However, its physics before that time is still much less certain. It profoundly involves particle theory beyond the Standard Model to explain long-standing puzzles: the origin of the observed matter asymmetry, nature of dark matter, massive neutrinos, and cosmic inflation. In this talk, I will explain that a new framework based on embedding axion-inflation in left-right symmetric gauge extensions of the SM can possibly solve and relate these seemingly unrelated mysteries of modern particle physics and cosmology. The baryon asymmetry and dark matter today are remnants of a pure quantum effect (chiral anomaly) in inflation which is the source of CP violation in inflation. As a smoking gun, this setup has robust observable signatures for the GW background to be probed by future CMB missions and laser interferometer detectors.


Speaker:     Nathan Musoke (University of New Hampshire) 

Title:          Gravitational fragmentation in the primordial dark age

Abstract:   Near-exponential growth during primordial inflation must be followed by big bang nucleosynthesis. The reheating processes that occur in the transition between the two can affect the inflationary power spectrum and dark matter abundance. I will present recent results concerning the gravitational fragmentation of the inflaton condensate at the end of inflation.  I will start with a brief overview of inflationary cosmology and review some known reheating scenarios, then discuss the case where the post-inflation inflaton condensate is not disrupted by resonance or prompt reheating.