18,695 research outputs found

    The Swampland, Quintessence and the Vacuum Energy

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    It has recently been conjectured that string theory does not admit de Sitter vacua, and that quintessence explains the current epoch of accelerated cosmic expansion. A proposed, key prediction of this scenario is time-varying couplings in the dark sector, induced by the evolving quintessence field. We note that cosmological models with varying couplings suffer from severe problems with quantum corrections, beyond those shared by all quintessence models. The vacuum energy depends on all masses and couplings of the theory, and even small variations of parameters can lead to overwhelmingly large corrections to the effective potential. We find that quintessence models with varying parameters can be realised in consistent quantum theories by either: 1) enforcing exceptional levels of fine-tuning; 2) realising some unknown mechanism that cancels all undesirable contributions to the effective potential with unprecedented accuracy; or 3) ensuring that the quintessence field couples exclusively to very light states, and does not backreact on heavy fields.Comment: 4

    Dissipative particle dynamics: the equilibrium for finite time steps

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    Dissipative particle dynamics (DPD) is a relatively new technique which has proved successful in the simulation of complex fluids. We caution that for the equilibrium achieved by the DPD simulation of a simple fluid the temperature depends strongly on the time step. An analytic expression for the dependence is obtained and shown to agree well with simulation results.Comment: 5 pages, LaTeX, 1 Postscript figure, submitted to Europhys.Letts., Algebraic corrections made to final resul

    Hyperinflation generalised: from its attractor mechanism to its tension with the `swampland conjectures'

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    In negatively curved field spaces, inflation can be realised even in steep potentials. Hyperinflation invokes the `centrifugal force' of a field orbiting the hyperbolic plane to sustain inflation. We generalise hyperinflation by showing that it can be realised in models with any number of fields (Nf2N_f\geq2), and in broad classes of potentials that, in particular, don't need to be rotationally symmetric. For example, hyperinflation can follow a period of radial slow-roll inflation that undergoes geometric destabilisation, yet this inflationary phase is not identical to the recently proposed scenario of `side-tracked inflation'. We furthermore provide a detailed proof of the attractor mechanism of (the original and generalised) hyperinflation, and provide a novel set of characteristic, explicit models. We close by discussing the compatibility of hyperinflation with observations and the recently much discussed `swampland conjectures'. Observationally viable models can be realised that satisfy either the `de Sitter conjecture' (V/V1V'/V\gtrsim 1) or the `distance conjecture' (Δϕ1\Delta \phi \lesssim 1), but satisfying both simultaneously brings hyperinflation in some tension with successful reheating after inflation. However, hyperinflation can get much closer to satisfying all of these criteria than standard slow-roll inflation. Furthermore, while the original model is in stark tension with the weak gravity conjecture, generalisations can circumvent this issue.Comment: 26 pages, 3 figure