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Journal Articles Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics Year : 2014

Adding helicity to inflationary magnetogenesis


The most studied mechanism of inflationary magnetogenesis relies on the time-dependence of the coefficient of the gauge kinetic term $F_{\mu\nu}\,{F}^{\mu\nu}$. Unfortunately, only extremely finely tuned versions of the model can consistently generate the cosmological magnetic fields required by observations. We propose a generalization of this model, where also the pseudoscalar invariant $F_{\mu\nu}\,\tilde{F}^{\mu\nu}$ is multiplied by a time dependent function. The new parity violating term allows more freedom in tuning the amplitude of the field at the end of inflation. Moreover, it leads to a helical magnetic field that is amplified at large scales by magnetohydrodynamical processes during the radiation dominated epoch. As a consequence, our model can satisfy the observational lower bounds on fields in the intergalactic medium, while providing a seed for the galactic dynamo, if inflation occurs at an energy scale ranging from $10^5$ to $10^{10}$ GeV. Such energy scale is well below that suggested by the recent BICEP2 result, if the latter is due to primordial tensor modes. However, the gauge field is a source of tensors during inflation and generates a spectrum of gravitational waves that can give a sizable tensor to scalar ratio $r={\cal O}(0.2)$ even if inflation occurs at low energies. This system therefore evades the Lyth bound. For smaller values of $r$, lower values of the inflationary energy scale are required. The model predicts fully helical cosmological magnetic fields and a chiral spectrum of primordial gravitational waves.

Dates and versions

cea-01220583 , version 1 (26-10-2015)



Chiara Caprini, Lorenzo Sorbo. Adding helicity to inflationary magnetogenesis. Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics, 2014, 2014 (10), ⟨10.1088/1475-7516/2014/10/056⟩. ⟨cea-01220583⟩
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