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Physical Review D


We consider the nonlinear dynamics of inflaton fragmentation during and after preheating in the simplest model of chaotic inflation. While the earlier regime of parametric resonant particle production and the later turbulent regime of interacting fields evolving towards equilibrium are well identified and understood, the short intermediate stage of violent nonlinear dynamics remains less explored. Lattice simulations of fully nonlinear preheating dynamics show specific features of this intermediate stage: occupation numbers of the scalar particles are peaked, scalar fields become significantly nongaussian and the field dynamics become chaotic and irreversible. Visualization of the field dynamics in position space reveals that nonlinear interactions generate nongaussian inflaton inhomogeneities with very fast growing amplitudes. The peaks of the inflaton inhomogeneities coincide with the peaks of the scalar field(s) produced by parametric resonance. When the inflaton peaks reach their maxima, they stop growing and begin to expand. The subsequent dynamics is determined by expansion and superposition of the scalar waves originating from the peaks. Multiple wave superposition results in phase mixing and turbulent wave dynamics. Thus, the short intermediate stage is defined by the formation, expansion and collision of bubblelike field inhomogeneities associated with the peaks of the original gaussian field. This process is qualitatively similar to the bubblelike inflaton fragmentation that occurs during tachyonic preheating after hybrid or new inflation.





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DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.75.043518




© 2007 The American Physical Society


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