Blue and violet graviton spectra from a dynamical refractive index

Giovannini, Massimo  (Department of Physics, CERN, Geneva 23, 1211, Switzerland) (INFN, Section of Milan-Bicocca, Milan, 20126, Italy)

03 January 2019

Abstract: We show that the spectral energy distribution of relic gravitons mildly increases for frequencies smaller than the μHz and then flattens out whenever the refractive index of the tensor modes is dynamical during a quasi-de Sitter stage of expansion. For a conventional thermal history the high-frequency plateau ranges between the mHz and the audio band but it is supplemented by a spike in the GHz region if a stiff post-inflationary phase precedes the standard radiation-dominated epoch. Even though the slope is blue at intermediate frequencies, it may become violet in the MHz window. For a variety of post-inflationary histories, including the conventional one, a dynamical index of refraction leads to a potentially detectable spectral energy density in the kHz and in the mHz regions while all the relevant phenomenological constraints are concurrently satisfied.

Published in: Physics letters B (2019)
Published by: Elsevier
DOI: 10.1016/j.physletb.2018.12.068
License: CC-BY-3.0

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