Testing BSM physics with gravitational waves

F. Muia, F. Quevedo, A. Schachner, G. Villa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Cosmic Gravitational Wave Background (CGWB) is an irreducible background of gravitational waves generated by particle exchange in the early Universe plasma. Standard Model particles contribute to such a stochastic background with a peak at f∼80 GHz. Any physics beyond the Standard Model (BSM) may modify the CGWB spectrum, making it a potential testing ground for BSM physics. We consider the impact of general BSM scenarios on the CGWB, including an arbitrary number of hidden sectors. We find that the largest amplitude of the CGWB comes from the sector that dominates the energy density after reheating and confirm the dominance of the SM for standard cosmological histories. For non-standard cosmological histories, such as those with a stiff equation of state ω > 1/3, like in kination, BSM physics may dominate and modify the spectrum substantially. We conclude that, if the CGWB is detected at lower frequencies and amplitudes compared to that of the SM, it will hint at extra massive degrees of freedom or hidden sectors. If it is instead measured at higher values, it will imply a period with ω > 1/3. We argue that for scenarios with periods of kination in the early Universe, a significant fraction of the parameter space can be ruled out from dark radiation bounds at BBN.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number006
JournalJournal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2023


  • cosmology of theories beyond the SM
  • gravitational waves / theory
  • particle physics - cosmology connection
  • physics of the early universe

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics


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