Title: Relaxion from particle production
Abstract: Recently a new solution to the hierarchy problem was proposed which makes use of the cosmological evolution of a light scalar field, a scanner, instead of symmetry or anthropic arguments to select a small Higgs mass. In the original proposal this scanner field could be the QCD axion and thus such class of solution became known as "relaxion". Two central features required of the relaxion are a reason for why a small Higgs mass is special from the scanner’s viewpoint and a mechanism for the scanner to dissipate its energy in order to stop in a value associated with small Higgs mass. In this talk we propose a novel mechanism that achieves both goals and opens new possibilities for the relaxion. We show that particle production can create an effective friction force for the relaxion and show how it can be used to "select" the TeV scale as a special energy scale from reasonable initial conditions. This allows for the scanning to happen much faster than in previous relaxion models, which usually require very large amounts of inflation, and also allows for the scanning to take place after inflation has ended.