Radiative lifting of flat directions of the MSSM in de Sitter background

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The one-loop effective potential for a charged scalar field in de Sitter background is studied. We derive an approximate form for the gauge boson propagator with a general covariant gauge-fixing parameter ξ. This expression is used to derive an effective potential, which agrees with earlier results obtained in Landau gauge, and the independence of ξ explicitly indicates the gauge-invariance of the calculation. Adding the scalar- and fermion-loop contributions, that arise in a supersymmetric Higgs model, we find that the effective potential is vanishing to first order in the Hubble rate H2 in the absence of additional chiral matter. The contribution due to a chiral multiplet running in the loop is however non-vanishing in the presence of Yukawa couplings to the Higgs field. When applied to a flat direction of the MSSM with VEV w, a logarithmically running correction of order h2 H2 w2 arises, where h is a Yukawa coupling. This is of particular importance for D-term inflation or models endowed with a Heisenberg symmetry, where Hubble scale mass terms for flat directions from supergravity corrections are absent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-131
Number of pages14
JournalNuclear Physics, Section B
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 12 Nov 2007
Externally publishedYes


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