We revisit the cosmological aspects of axion models. In the high-scale inflation scenario, the Peccei-Quinn (PQ) symmetry is likely to be restored during/after inflation. If the curvature of the PQ scalar potential at the origin is smaller than its vacuum expectation value; for instance in a class of SUSY axion models, thermal inflation happens before the radial component of the PQ scalar (saxion) relaxes into the global minimum of the potential and the decay of saxion coherent oscillation would produce too much axion dark radiation. In this paper, we study how to avoid the overproduction of axion dark radiation with some concrete examples. We show that, by taking account of the finite-temperature dissipation effect appropriately, the overproduction constraint can be relaxed since the PQ scalar can take part in the thermal plasma again even after the PQ phase transition. We also show that it can be further relaxed owing to the late time decay of another heavy CP-odd scalar, if it is present.
- Cosmology of Theories beyond the SM
- Thermal Field Theory