On the naturalness of Higgs inflation

J. L.F. Barbón, J. R. Espinosa

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331 Citations (Scopus)


We critically examine the recent claim that the standard model (SM) Higgs boson H could drive inflation in agreement with observations if |H|2 has a strong coupling ξ∼104 to the Ricci curvature scalar. We first show that the effective-theory approach upon which that claim is based ceases to be valid beyond a cutoff scale Λ=mp/ξ, where mp is the reduced Planck mass. We then argue that knowing the Higgs potential profile for the field values relevant for inflation (|H|>mp/ξΛ) requires knowledge of the ultraviolet completion of the SM beyond Λ. In absence of such microscopic theory, the extrapolation of the pure SM potential beyond Λ is unwarranted and the scenario is akin to other ad hoc inflaton potentials afflicted with significant fine-tuning. The appealing naturalness of this minimal proposal is therefore lost. © 2009 The American Physical Society.
Original languageEnglish
Article number081302
JournalPhysical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2009


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