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Anisotropic gravitational wave background from preheating

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Camille Bonvin.

In many inflationary models, the transition from inflation to radiation domination involves a period of “preheating”, a parametric resonance which transfers energy rapidly away from the inflaton field. This is known to generate a background of gravitational waves, which may be detectable by future detectors, and there has been considerable activity in calculating their spectrum using lattice field theory simulations. In this talk, I will explain why the intensity of this gravitational wave background can actually be anisotropic on large angular scales on the sky. I present numerical results for the massless preheating model, showing that the amplitude of this anisotropy can be of order one, meaning that if the gravitational wave background itself can be detected, then its anisotropy should also be easy to measure. This would provide a powerful way to probe observationally the dynamics of preheating, and that way the microscopic physics behind inflation.

This talk is part of the Cosmology Lunch series.

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