Higgs Inflation

Master thesis
Research group: 
String Cosmology
Christian van Es

In this thesis, we examine the possibility that the Standard Model Higgs boson played the role of the inflaton. A standard potential requires an unphysically
small coupling constant to obtain density perturbations in agreement with observational data. A large coupling between the scalar field and the Ricci  curvature scalar relaxes this condition, and the field  might be identi ed with the Standard Model Higgs field. In such a model, the predicted values of the spectral index and the tensor-to-scalar ratio are also in agreement with current observational data. However, quantum corrections seem to break the theory down at the cut-o ff scale Mpl, which is below the energy scale where inflation takes place. Finally, we analyze the role of the Goldstone bosons. During inflation the first derivative of the Higgs potential doesn't vanish. This leads to a nonzero mass term for the the Goldstone bosons and hence they contribute to the Coleman-Weinberg potential.

Publication date: 
August, 2012