Preprint number: CP3-Origins-2011-44 and DIAS-2011-39
If the Standard Model is valid up to very high energies it is known that the Higgs potential can develop a local minimum at energies of order 1015−1016 GeV, for a narrow band of values of the top and Higgs masses. We show that in a scalar-tensor theory of gravity such Higgs false vacuum can give rise to viable inflation if the potential barrier is very shallow, allowing for tunneling and relaxation into the electroweak scale true vacuum. Requiring the amplitude and scalar spectral index of cosmological density perturbations from inflation and the top mass to be compatible with observations, selects a narrow range of values for the Higgs mass, mH=126.0±3.5 GeV, where the error is mostly due to the theoretical uncertainty of the 2-loop RGE. This prediction could be soon tested at the Large Hadron Collider. Our inflationary scenario could also be further checked by better constraints on the scalar spectral index and the tensor-to-scalar ratio.