Shopping cart


Hilltop Quintessence – Sourish Dutta

Date: Tue. February 17th, 2009, 11:30 am-12:30 pm
Location: Rockefeller 221

We examine hilltop quintessence models, in which the scalar field is rolling near a local maximum in the potential, and w is close to -1. We first derive a general equation for the evolution of the scalar field in the limit where w is close to -1. We solve this equation for the case of hilltop quintessence to derive w as a function of the scale factor; these solutions depend on the curvature of the potential near its maximum. Our general result is in excellent agreement (delta w < 0.5%) with all of the particular cases examined. It works particularly well (delta w < 0.1%) for the pseudo-Nambu-Goldstone Boson potential. Our expression for w(a) reduces to the previously-derived slow-roll result of Sen and Scherrer in the limit where the curvature goes to zero. Except for this limiting case, w(a) is poorly fit by linear evolution in a. We also discuss extensions of our mathematical technique to other scenarios such as phantom fields rolling near a potential minimum.

Scroll To Top