Thursday, July 11, 2013

1307.1848 (Itzhak Bars et al.)

Local Conformal Symmetry in Physics and Cosmology    [PDF]

Itzhak Bars, Paul Steinhardt, Neil Turok
We review some of the arguments for why scale symmetry may be a fundamental principle in nature and, if so, why it is likely to be manifest as a local conformal symmetry including gravity. We show how to lift a generic non-scale invariant theory in Einstein frame into a Weyl-invariant theory and present the general form for Lagrangians consistent with Weyl symmetry. Various applications to cosmology are then discussed: the construction of classically geodesically complete cosmologies, the determination of initial conditions after the big bang, inflation, the metastability of the Higgs and cyclic cosmology. As examples, we focus on the standard model and Higgs cosmology, exploring the notion that the Higgs alone could be sufficient to explain the stages of cosmic evolution after (and perhaps before) the big bang and the large-scale features of the universe.
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