The effective Higgs potential and vacuum decay in Starobinsky inflation

Andreas Mantziris, Tommi Markkanen, Arttu Rajantie

Submitted on 1 July 2022


Based on the current experimental data, the Standard Model predicts that the current vacuum state of the Universe is metastable, leading to a non-zero rate of vacuum decay through nucleation of bubbles of true vacuum. Our existence implies that there cannot have been any such bubble nucleation events anywhere in our whole past lightcone. We consider a minimal scenario of the Standard Model together with Starobinsky inflation, using three-loop renormalization group improved Higgs effective potential with one-loop curvature corrections. We show that the survival of the vacuum state through inflation places a lower bound ξ0.1 on the non-minimal Higgs curvature coupling, the last unknown parameter of the Standard Model. This bound is significantly stronger than in single field inflation models with no Higgs-inflaton coupling. It is also sensitive to the details of the dynamics at the end of inflation, and therefore it can be improved with a more detailed study of that period.


Comment: 27 pages, 6 figures

Subjects: Astrophysics - Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics; General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology; High Energy Physics - Phenomenology; High Energy Physics - Theory