The BICEP2 experiment determined the Hubble parameter during inflation to be about 1014 GeV. Such high inflation scale is in tension with the QCD axion dark matter if the Peccei-Quinn (PQ) symmetry remains broken during and after inflation, because too large axion isocurvature perturbations would be generated. The axion isocurvature perturbations can be suppressed if the axion acquires a sufficiently heavy mass during inflation. We show that this is realized if the PQ symmetry is explicitly broken down to a discrete symmetry and if the breaking is enhanced during inflation. We also show that, even when the PQ symmetry becomes spontaneously broken after inflation, such a temporarily enhanced PQ symmetry breaking relaxes the constraint on the axion decay constant.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Physics Letters, Section B: Nuclear, Elementary Particle and High-Energy Physics|
|Publication status||Published - 2014 Jun 27|