David Kaiser (MIT)
Title: "Post-Inflation Reheating: Review and Open Questions"
Abstract: Our understanding of the state of the universe between the end of inflation and big bang nucleosynthesis (BBN) is incomplete. Post-inflation reheating -- the energy transfer between the inflaton and Standard Model fields (possibly through intermediaries) and their subsequent thermalization -- can provide clues to how inflation fits in with known high-energy physics; it is also critical for relating inflationary predictions to high-precision measurements. This talk will review our current understanding of the nonperturbative, nonlinear dynamics at the end of inflation, some salient features of realistic particle physics models of reheating, and how the universe reaches a thermal, radiation-dominated state before BBN.