Weyl inflation and an emergent Planck scale

Research paper by D. M. Ghilencea

Indexed on: 28 Jun '19Published on: 27 Jun '19Published in: arXiv - General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology


We study inflation in Weyl gravity. The original Weyl quadratic gravity, based on Weyl conformal geometry, is a theory invariant under Weyl symmetry of (gauged) local scale transformations. In this theory Planck scale ($M$) emerges as the scale where this symmetry is broken spontaneously by a geometric Stueckelberg mechanism, to Einstein-Proca action for the Weyl "photon" (of mass near $M$). With this action as a "low energy" broken phase of Weyl gravity, long-held criticisms of the latter (due to non-metricity) are avoided. In this context, inflation with field values above $M$ is natural, since this is just a phase transition scale from Weyl gravity (geometry) to Einstein gravity (Riemannian geometry), where the massive Weyl photon decouples. We show that inflation in Weyl gravity coupled to a scalar field has results close to those in Starobinsky model (recovered for vanishing non-minimal coupling), with a mildly smaller tensor-to-scalar ratio ($r$). Weyl gravity predicts a specific, narrow range $0.00257 \leq r\leq 0.00303$, for a spectral index $n_s$ within experimental bounds at $68\%$CL and e-folds number $N=60$. This range of values will soon be reached by CMB experiments and provides a test of Weyl gravity.