A cosmological signature of the SM Higgs instability: Gravitational waves

J. R. Espinosa, D. Racco, A. Riotto

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    93 Citations (Scopus)


    © 2018 IOP Publishing Ltd and Sissa Medialab. A fundamental property of the Standard Model is that the Higgs potential becomes unstable at large values of the Higgs field. For the current central values of the Higgs and top masses, the instability scale is about 1011 GeV and therefore not accessible by colliders. We show that a possible signature of the Standard Model Higgs instability is the production of gravitational waves sourced by Higgs fluctuations generated during inflation. We fully characterise the two-point correlator of such gravitational waves by computing its amplitude, the frequency at peak, the spectral index, as well as their three-point correlators for various polarisations. We show that, depending on the Higgs and top masses, either LISA or the Einstein Telescope and Advanced-Ligo, could detect such stochastic background of gravitational waves. In this sense, collider and gravitational wave physics can provide fundamental and complementary informations. Furthermore, the consistency relation among the three- and the two-point correlators could provide an efficient tool to ascribe the detected gravitational waves to the Standard Model itself. Since the mechanism described in this paper might also be responsible for the generation of dark matter under the form of primordial black holes, this latter hypothesis may find its confirmation through the detection of gravitational waves.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number012
    JournalJournal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics
    Publication statusPublished - 10 Sep 2018


    • gravitational waves/theory
    • particle physics-cosmology connection
    • primordial black holes
    • primordial gravitational waves (theory)


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