enter image description here

Link for the picture

The inflaton field can be represented as a ball rolling down a hill. During inflation, the energy density is approximately constant, driving the tremendous expansion of the universe. When the ball starts to oscillate around the bottom of the hill, inflation ends and the inflaton energy decays into particles. In certain cases, the coherent oscillations of the inflaton could generate a resonant production of particles which soon thermalize, reheating the universe.

When does reheating occur?

a) after inflation ends ; before the field reaches minimum

b) after the field reaches minimum of the potential

c) when inflaton oscillates around the minimum of the potential

  • $\begingroup$ you should give a link for the figure so one could check the context. $\endgroup$ – anna v Sep 19 '18 at 3:03

This link may be useful for you because it shows how model dependent the term reheating and its behavior is.

who suggest that the decay can undergo broad parametric resonance, with extremely efficient transfer of energy from the coherent oscillations of the inflaton field. This initial transfer has been dubbed preheating. With such an efficient start to the reheating process, it now appears possible that the reheating epoch may be very short indeed and hence that most of the energy density in the inflaton field at the end of inflation may be available for conversion into thermalized form.

Reheating happens at the end of inflation, as far as this discussion goes, it signal's its end.

Thus the simplistic plot you show is an analogue, not the true story, which needs a deeper understanding of the particular models, referenced in the link. Also this link goes into preheating and reheating.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.