Lighting the Dark: Evolution of the Postinflationary Universe.

Academic Article


  • In simple inflationary cosmological scenarios, the near-exponential growth can be followed by a long period in which the Universe is dominated by the oscillating inflaton condensate. The condensate is initially almost homogeneous, but perturbations grow gravitationally, eventually fragmenting the condensate if it is not disrupted more quickly by resonance or prompt reheating. We show that the gravitational fragmentation of the condensate is well-described by the Schrödinger-Poisson equations and use numerical solutions to show that large overdensities form quickly after the onset of nonlinearity. This is the first exploration of this phase of nonlinear dynamics in the very early Universe, which can affect the detailed form of the inflationary power spectrum and the dark matter fraction when the dark sector is directly coupled to the inflaton.
  • Authors

  • Musoke, Nathan
  • Hotchkiss, Shaun
  • Easther, Richard
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • February 14, 2020
  • Has Subject Area

    Published In


  • 85A40
  • astro-ph.CO
  • hep-ph
  • hep-th
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 32109108
  • Start Page

  • 061301
  • Volume

  • 124
  • Issue

  • 6