The Gravitational Wave Background and Higgs False Vacuum Inflation

Preprint number: CP3-Origins-2014-25 DNRF90 and DIAS-2014-25
Author: Isabella Masina (Ferrara University & CP3-Origins & DIAS)
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For a narrow band of values of the top quark and Higgs boson masses, the Standard Model Higgs potential develops a shallow local minimum at energies of about \(10^{16}\) GeV, where primordial inflation could have started in a cold metastable state. For each point of that band, the highness of the Higgs potential at the false minimum is calculable, and there is an associated prediction for the inflationary gravitational wave background, namely for the tensor to scalar ratio \(r\). We show that the recent measurement of \(r\) by the BICEP2 collaboration, \(r=0.16 _{-0.05}^{+0.06}\) at \(1\sigma\), combined with the most up-to-date measurements of the top quark and Higgs boson masses, reveals that the hypothesis that a Standard Model shallow false minimum was the source of inflation in the early Universe is viable.