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A cosmic microscope for the preheating era

A preprint version of the article is available at arXiv.


Light fields with spatially varying backgrounds can modulate cosmic preheating, and imprint the nonlinear effects of preheating dynamics at tiny scales on large scale fluctuations. This provides us a unique probe into the preheating era which we dub the “cosmic microscope”. We identify a distinctive effect of preheating on scalar perturbations that turns the Gaussian primordial fluctuations of a light scalar field into square waves, like a diode. The effect manifests itself as local non-Gaussianity. We present a model, “modulated partial preheating”, where this nonlinear effect is consistent with current observations and can be reached by near future cosmic probes.


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Fan, J., Xianyu, ZZ. A cosmic microscope for the preheating era. J. High Energ. Phys. 2021, 21 (2021).

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  • Beyond Standard Model
  • Cosmology of Theories beyond the SM