Mass varying neutrinos, quintessence, and the accelerating expansion of the Universe

Chitov, Gennady and August, Taylor and Natarajan, Aravind and Kahniashvili, Tina (2011) Mass varying neutrinos, quintessence, and the accelerating expansion of the Universe. Physical Review D, 83.


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We analyze the mass varying neutrino scenario. We consider a minimal model of massless Dirac fermions coupled to a scalar field, mainly in the framework of finite-temperature quantum field theory. We demonstrate that the mass equation we find has nontrivial solutions only for special classes of potentials, and only within certain temperature intervals. We give most of our results for the Ratra-Peebles dark energy (DE) potential. The thermal (temporal) evolution of the model is analyzed. Following the time arrow, the stable, metastable, and unstable phases are predicted. The model predicts that the present Universe is below its critical temperature and accelerates. At the critical point, the Universe undergoes a first-order phase transition from the (meta)stable oscillatory regime to the unstable rolling regime of the DE field. This conclusion agrees with the original idea of quintessence as a force making the Universe roll towards its true vacuum with a zero Λ term. The present mass varying neutrino scenario is free from the coincidence problem, since both the DE density and the neutrino mass are determined by the scale M of the potential. Choosing M˜10-3eV to match the present DE density, we can obtain the present neutrino mass in the range m˜10-2-1eV and consistent estimates for other parameters of the Universe.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science > QC Physics
Depositing User: Prof. Tina Kahniashvili
Date Deposited: 29 Jan 2014 19:50
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2015 07:06

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