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Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation, and Cosmology


Department of Physics and Astronomy


We investigate the rich nonlinear dynamics during the end of hilltop inflation by numerically solving the coupled Klein-Gordon-Friedmann equations in an expanding universe. In particular, we search for coherent, nonperturbative configurations that may emerge due to the combination of nontrivial couplings between the fields and resonant effects from the cosmological expansion. We couple a massless field to the inflaton to investigate its effect on the existence and stability of coherent configurations and the effective equation of state at reheating. For parameters consistent with data from the Planck and WMAP satellites, and for a wide range of couplings between the inflaton and the massless field, we identify a transition from disorder to order characterized by emergent oscillonlike configurations. We verify that these configurations can contribute a maximum of roughly 30% of the energy density in the universe. At late times their contribution to the energy density drops to about 3%, but they remain long lived on cosmological time scales, being stable throughout our simulations. Cosmological oscillon emergence is described using a new measure of order in field theory known as relative configurational entropy.