Joan Sola - Barcelona University, ECM and ICC Barcelona University

Joan Sola
Are you Joan Sola?

Claim your profile, edit publications, add additional information:

Contact Details

Joan Sola
Barcelona University, ECM and ICC Barcelona University

Pubs By Year

External Links

Pub Categories

High Energy Physics - Phenomenology (48)
General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology (41)
Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (40)
High Energy Physics - Theory (36)
Computer Science - Robotics (1)

Publications Authored By Joan Sola

Despite the outstanding achievements of modern cosmology, the classical dispute on the precise value of $H_0$, which is the first ever parameter of modern cosmology and one of the prime parameters in the field, still goes on and on after over half a century of measurements. Recently the dispute came to the spotlight with renewed strength owing to the significant tension (at $>3\sigma$ c.l. Read More

In this paper we assess the possibility that a rigid cosmological constant, $\Lambda$, and hence the traditional concordance $\Lambda$CDM model, might not be the best phenomenological description of the current cosmological data. We show that a large class of dynamical vacuum models (DVMs), whose vacuum energy density $\rho_{\Lambda}(H)$ consists of a nonvanishing constant term and a series of powers of the Hubble rate, provides a substantially better phenomenological account of the overall $SNIa+BAO+H(z)+LSS+CMB$ cosmological observations. We find that some models within the class of DVMs, particularly the running vacuum model (RVM), appear significantly much more favored than the $\Lambda$CDM, at an unprecedented confidence level of $\sim 4\sigma$. Read More

Next year we will celebrate 100 years of the cosmological term, $\Lambda$, in Einstein's gravitational field equations, also 50 years since the cosmological constant problem was first formulated by Zeldovich, and almost about two decades of the observational evidence that a non-vanishing, positive, $\Lambda$-term could be the simplest phenomenological explanation for the observed acceleration of the Universe. This mixed state of affairs already shows that we do no currently understand the theoretical nature of $\Lambda$. In particular, we are still facing the crucial question whether $\Lambda$ is truly a fundamental constant or a mildly evolving dynamical variable. Read More

Recent analyses in the literature suggest that the concordance $\Lambda$CDM model with rigid cosmological term, $\Lambda=$const., may not be the best description of the cosmic acceleration. The class of "running vacuum models", in which $\Lambda=\Lambda(H)$ evolves with the Hubble rate, has been shown to fit the string of $SNIa+BAO+H(z)+LSS+CMB$ data significantly better than the $\Lambda$CDM. Read More

Despite the enormous significance of the Higgs potential in the context of the Standard Model of electroweak interactions and in Grand Unified Theories, its ultimate origin is fundamentally unknown and must be introduced by hand in accordance with the underlying gauge symmetry and the requirement of renormalizability. Here we propose a more physical motivation for the structure of the Higgs potential, which we link to gravity, and more specifically to an extended Brans-Dicke (BD) theory containing two interacting scalar fields. One of these fields is coupled to curvature as in the BD formulation, whereas the other is coupled to gravity both derivatively and non-derivatively through the curvature scalar and the Ricci tensor. Read More

In the centenary of the introduction of the cosmological constant, $\Lambda$, by Einstein in his gravitational field equations, and after about two decades of the first observational papers confirming the accelerated expansion of the universe, we are still facing the question whether the cause of it is a rigid $\Lambda$-term or a mildly evolving dynamical dark energy (DE). In this work we perform an overall fit to the $SNIa+BAO+H(z)+LSS+CMB$ data through the XCDM parametrization along with a triad of dynamical vacuum models (DVMs) in interaction with dark matter. We find clear signs (at $> 3. Read More

We compute the time variation of the fundamental constants (such as the ratio of the proton mass to the electron mass, the strong coupling constant, the fine structure constant and Newton's constant) within the context of the so-called running vacuum models (RVM's) of the cosmic evolution. Recently, compelling evidence has been provided showing that these models are able to fit the main cosmological data (SNIa+BAO+H(z)+LSS+BBN+CMB) significantly better than the concordance $\Lambda$CDM model. Specifically, the vacuum parameters of the RVM (i. Read More

It is well-known that a constant $\Lambda$-term is a traditional building block of the concordance $\Lambda$CDM model. We show that this assumption is not necessarily the optimal one from the phenomenological point of view. The class of running vacuum models, with a possible running of the gravitational coupling G, are capable to fit the overall cosmological data SNIa+BAO+H(z)+LSS+BBN+CMB better than the $\Lambda$CDM, namely at a level of $\sim 3\sigma$ and with Akaike and Bayesian information criteria supporting a strong level of statistical evidence on this fact. Read More

Despite the fact that a rigid $\Lambda$-term is a fundamental building block of the concordance $\Lambda$CDM model, we show that a large class of cosmological scenarios with dynamical vacuum energy density $\rho_{\Lambda}$ and/or gravitational coupling $G$, together with a possible non-conservation of matter, are capable of seriously challenging the traditional phenomenological success of the $\Lambda$CDM. In this paper, we discuss these "running vacuum models" (RVM's), in which $\rho_{\Lambda}=\rho_{\Lambda}(H)$ consists of a nonvanishing constant term and a series of powers of the Hubble rate. Such generic structure is potentially linked to the quantum field theoretical description of the expanding Universe. Read More

I review the excellent phenomenological status of a class of dynamical vacuum models in which the vacuum energy density, $\rho_{\Lambda}=\rho_{\Lambda}(H)$, as a function of the Hubble rate, evolves through its interaction with dark matter and/or through the accompanying running of the gravitational coupling $G$, including the possibility of being self-conserved with a nontrivial effective equation of state. Some of these models have been used to incorporate into a single vacuum structure the rapid stage of inflation, followed by the standard radiation and cold dark matter epochs all the way down until the dark energy era. Remarkably, the running vacuum models (RVM's) render an outstanding phenomenological description of the main cosmological data at a level that is currently challenging the concordance $\Lambda$CDM model, thereby implying that present observations seem to point to a running vacuum rather than to a rigid cosmological constant $\Lambda$ in our Universe. Read More

We derive for the first time the growth index of matter perturbations of the FLRW flat cosmological models in which the vacuum energy depends on redshift. A particularly well motivated model of this type is the so-called quantum field vacuum, in which apart from a leading constant term $\Lambda_0$ there is also a $H^{2}$-dependence in the functional form of vacuum, namely $\Lambda(H)=\Lambda_{0}+3\nu (H^{2}-H^{2}_{0})$. Since $|\nu|\ll1$ this form endows the vacuum energy of a mild dynamics which affects the evolution of the main cosmological observables at the background and perturbation levels. Read More

We determine the Hubble expansion and the general cosmic perturbations equations for a general system consisting of self-conserved matter and self-conserved dark energy (DE). While at the background level the two components are non-interacting, they do interact at the perturbations level. We show that the coupled system of matter and DE perturbations can be transformed into a single, third order, matter perturbation equation, which reduces to the (derivative of the) standard one in the case that the DE is just a cosmological constant. Read More

The thermal history of a large class of running vacuum models in which the effective cosmological term is described by a truncated power series of the Hubble rate, whose dominant term is $\Lambda (H) \propto H^{n+2}$, is discussed in detail. Specifically, by assuming that the ultra-relativistic particles produced by the vacuum decay emerge into space-time in such a way that its energy density $\rho_r \propto T^{4}$, the temperature evolution law and the increasing entropy function are analytically calculated. For the whole class of vacuum models explored here we findthat the primeval value of the comoving radiation entropy density (associated to effectively massless particles) starts from zero and evolves extremely fast until reaching a maximum near the end of the vacuum decay phase, where it saturates. Read More

There is no doubt that the field of Fundamental Constants in Physics and Their Time Variation is one of the hottest subjects in modern theoretical and experimental physics, with potential implications in all fundamental areas of physics research, such as particle physics, gravitation, astrophysics and cosmology. In this Special Issue, the state-of-the-art in the field is presented in detail. Read More

Recently there have been claims on model-independent evidence of dynamical dark energy. Herein we consider a fairly general class of cosmological models with a time-evolving cosmological term of the form $\Lambda(H)=C_0+C_H H^2+C_{\dot{H}} \dot{H}$, where $H$ is the Hubble rate. These models are well motivated from the theoretical point of view since they can be related to the general form of the effective action of quantum field theory in curved spacetime. Read More

An accelerated universe should naturally have a vacuum energy density determined by its dynamical curvature. The cosmological constant is most likely a temporary description of a dynamical variable that has been drastically evolving from the early inflationary era to the present. In this Essay we propose a unified picture of the cosmic history implementing such an idea, in which the cosmological constant problem is fixed at early times. Read More

We describe the primeval inflationary phase of the early Universe within a quantum field theoretical (QFT) framework that can be viewed as the effective action of vacuum decay in the early times. Interestingly enough, the model accounts for the "graceful exit" of the inflationary phase into the standard radiation regime. The underlying QFT framework considered here is Supergravity (SUGRA), more specifically an existing formulation in which the Starobinsky-type inflation (de-Sitter background) emerges from the quantum corrections to the effective action after integrating out the gravitino fields in their (dynamically induced) massive phase. Read More

The idea that the vacuum energy density $\rho_{\Lambda}$ could be time dependent is a most reasonable one in the expanding Universe; in fact, much more reasonable than just a rigid cosmological constant for the entire cosmic history. Being $\rho_{\Lambda}=\rho_{\Lambda}(t)$ dynamical, it offers a possibility to tackle the cosmological constant problem in its various facets. Furthermore, for a long time (most prominently since Dirac's first proposal on a time variable gravitational coupling) the possibility that the fundamental "constants" of Nature are slowly drifting with the cosmic expansion has been continuously investigated. Read More

Perhaps the deepest mystery of our accelerating Universe in expansion is the existence of a tiny and rigid cosmological constant, $\Lambda$. Its size is many orders of magnitude below the expected one in the standard model of particle physics. However, an expanding Universe is not expected to have a static vacuum energy density. Read More

The thermodynamic behavior of a decaying vacuum cosmology describing the entire cosmological history evolving between two extreme (early and late time) de Sitter eras is investigated. The thermal evolution from the early de Sitter to the radiation phase is discussed in detail. The temperature evolution law and the increasing entropy function are analytically determined. Read More

We focus on the class of cosmological models with a time-evolving vacuum energy density of the form $\rho_\Lambda=C_0+C_1 H+C_2 H^2$, where $H$ is the Hubble rate. Higher powers of $H$ could be important for the early inflationary epoch, but are irrelevant afterwards. We study these models at the background level and at the perturbations level, both at the linear and at the nonlinear regime. Read More

Despite the many efforts, our theoretical understanding of the ultimate nature of the dark energy component of the universe still lags well behind the astounding experimental evidence achieved from the increasingly sophisticated observational tools at our disposal. While the canonical possibility is a strict cosmological constant, or rigid vacuum energy density $\rho_{\Lambda}=$const., the exceeding simplicity of this possibility lies also at the root of its unconvincing theoretical status, as there is no explanation for the existence of such constant for the entire cosmic history. Read More

The traditional "explanation" for the observed acceleration of the universe is the existence of a positive cosmological constant. However, this can hardly be a truly convincing explanation, as an expanding universe is not expected to have a static vacuum energy density. So, it must be an approximation. Read More

An expanding universe is not expected to have a static vacuum energy density. The so-called cosmological constant $\Lambda$ should be an approximation, certainly a good one for a fraction of a Hubble time, but it is most likely a temporary description of a true dynamical vacuum energy variable that is evolving from the inflationary epoch to the present day. We can compare the evolving vacuum energy with a Casimir device where the parallel plates slowly move apart ("expand"). Read More

We reconsider the entropic-force model in which both kind of Hubble terms ${\dot H}$ and $H^{2}$ appear in the effective dark energy (DE) density affecting the evolution of the main cosmological functions, namely the scale factor, deceleration parameter, matter density and growth of linear matter perturbations. However, we find that the entropic-force model is not viable at the background and perturbation levels due to the fact that the entropic formulation does not add a constant term in the Friedmann equations. On the other hand, if on mere phenomenological grounds we replace the ${\dot H}$ dependence of the effective DE density with a linear term $H$ without including a constant additive term, we find that the transition from deceleration to acceleration becomes possible but the recent structure formation data strongly disfavors this cosmological scenario. Read More

In quantum haplodynamics (QHD) the weak bosons, quarks and leptons are bound states of fundamental constituents, denoted as haplons. The confinement scale of the associated gauge group SU(2)_h is of the order of $\Lambda_h\simeq 0.3$ TeV. Read More

Past analyses of the equation of state (EoS) of the Dark Energy (DE) were not incompatible with a phantom phase near our time. This has been the case in the years of WMAP observations, in combination with the remaining cosmological observables. Such situation did not completely disappear from the data collected from the Planck satellite mission. Read More

The cosmological constant (CC) term in Einstein's equations, Lambda, was first associated to the idea of vacuum energy density. Notwithstanding, it is well-known that there is a huge, in fact appalling, discrepancy between the theoretical prediction and the observed value picked from the modern cosmological data. This is the famous, and extremely difficult, "CC problem". Read More

In the present mainstream cosmology, matter and spacetime emerged from a singularity and evolved through four distinct periods: early inflation, radiation, dark matter and late-time inflation (driven by dark energy). During the radiation and dark matter dominated stages, the universe is decelerating while the early and late-time inflations are accelerating stages. A possible connection between the accelerating periods remains unknown, and, even more intriguing, the best dark energy candidate powering the present accelerating stage (Lambda-vacuum) is plagued with the cosmological constant and coincidence puzzles. Read More

After the recent discovery of a Higgs-like boson particle at the CERN LHC-collider, it becomes more necessary than ever to prepare ourselves for identifying its standard or non-standard nature. The Electroweak parameter Delta r relating the values of the gauge boson masses [MW,MZ] and the Fermi constant [G_F] is the traditional observable encoding high precision information of the electroweak physics at the quantum level. In this work we present a complete quantitative study of Delta r in the framework of the general (unconstrained) Two-Higgs-Doublet Model (2HDM). Read More

We propose a novel cosmological scenario with the space-time emerging from a pure initial de Sitter stage and subsequently evolving into the radiation, matter and dark energy dominated epochs, thereby avoiding the initial singularity and providing a complete description of the expansion history and a natural solution to the horizon problem. The model is based on a dynamical vacuum energy density which evolves as a power series of the Hubble rate. The transit from the inflation into the standard radiation epoch is universal, giving a clue for a successful description of the graceful exit. Read More

We generalize the previously proposed running vacuum energy model by including a term proportional to \dot{H}, in addition to the existing H^2 term. We show that the added degree of freedom is very constrained if both low redshift and high redshift data are taken into account. Best-fit models are undistinguishable from LCDM at the present time, but could be distinguished in the future with very accurate data at both low and high redshifts. Read More

We review selected results for Higgs boson production at Linear Colliders in the framework of the general Two-Higgs-Doublet Model (2HDM). We concentrate on the analysis of i) the pairwise production of neutral Higgs bosons (hA,HA); and ii) the neutral Higgs boson-strahlung modes (hZ, HZ). We identify sizable production rates, in the range of 10-100 fb for center-of-mass energies of 0. Read More

In an expanding universe the vacuum energy density \rho_{\Lambda} is expected to be a dynamical quantity. In quantum field theory in curved space-time \rho_{\Lambda} should exhibit a slow evolution, determined by the expansion rate of the universe H. Recent measurements on the time variation of the fine structure constant and of the proton-electron mass ratio suggest that basic quantities of the Standard Model, such as the QCD scale parameter \Lambda_{QCD}, may not be conserved in the course of the cosmological evolution. Read More

This article presents a new open-source C++ implementation to solve the SLAM problem, which is focused on genericity, versatility and high execution speed. It is based on an original object oriented architecture, that allows the combination of numerous sensors and landmark types, and the integration of various approaches proposed in the literature. The system capacities are illustrated by the presentation of an inertial/vision SLAM approach, for which several improvements over existing methods have been introduced, and that copes with very high dynamic motions. Read More

In order to deal with a large cosmological constant a relaxation mechanism based on modified gravity has been proposed recently. By virtue of this mechanism the effect of the vacuum energy density of a given quantum field/string theory (no matter how big is its initial value in the early universe) can be neutralized dynamically, i.e. Read More

We present an updated overview on the phenomenology of one-loop Higgs boson production at Linear Colliders within the general Two-Higgs-Doublet Model (2HDM). First we report on the Higgs boson pair production, and associated Higgs-Z boson production, at O(alpha^3_{ew}) from e+e- collisions. These channels furnish cross-sections in the range of 10-100 fb for Ecm=0. Read More

We revisit the production of a single Higgs boson from direct \gamma \gamma -scattering at a photon collider. We compute the total cross section \sigma(\gamma \gamma \to h) (for h=h0, H0, A0), and the strength of the effective g_{h \gamma \gamma} coupling normalized to the Standard Model (SM), for both the general Two-Higgs-Doublet Model (2HDM) and the Minimal Supersymmetric Standard Model (MSSM). In both cases the predicted production rates for the CP-even (odd) states render up to 10^4 (10^3) events per 500 \invfb of integrated luminosity, in full consistency with all the theoretical and phenomenological constraints. Read More

We study the problem of relaxing a large cosmological constant in the astrophysical domain through a dynamical mechanism based on a modified action of gravity previously considered by us at the cosmological level. We solve the model in the Schwarzschild-de Sitter metric for large and small astrophysical scales, and address its physical interpretation by separately studying the Jordan's frame and Einstein's frame formulations of it. In particular, we determine the extremely weak strength of fifth forces in our model and show that they are virtually unobservable. Read More

A new class of FLRW cosmological models with time-evolving fundamental parameters should emerge naturally from a description of the expansion of the universe based on the first principles of quantum field theory and string theory. Within this general paradigm, one expects that both the gravitational Newton's coupling, G, and the cosmological term, Lambda, should not be strictly constant but appear rather as smooth functions of the Hubble rate. This scenario ("running FLRW model") predicts, in a natural way, the existence of dynamical dark energy without invoking the participation of extraneous scalar fields. Read More

The idea that the cosmological term, Lambda, should be a time dependent quantity in cosmology is a most natural one. It is difficult to conceive an expanding universe with a strictly constant vacuum energy density, namely one that has remained immutable since the origin of time. A smoothly evolving vacuum energy density that inherits its time-dependence from cosmological functions, such as the Hubble rate or the scale factor, is not only a qualitatively more plausible and intuitive idea, but is also suggested by fundamental physics, in particular by quantum field theory (QFT) in curved space-time. Read More

We demonstrate that there exists a large class of action functionals of the scalar curvature and of the Gauss-Bonnet invariant which are able to relax dynamically a large cosmological constant (CC), whatever it be its starting value in the early universe. Hence, it is possible to understand, without fine-tuning, the very small current value of the CC as compared to its theoretically expected large value in quantum field theory and string theory. In our framework, this relaxation appears as a pure gravitational effect, where no ad hoc scalar fields are needed. Read More

The associated production of neutral Higgs bosons with the Z gauge boson is investigated in the context of the future linear colliders, such as the ILC and CLIC, within the general two-Higgs-doublet model (2HDM). We compute the corresponding production cross-sections at one-loop, in full consistency with the available theoretical and phenomenological constraints. We find that the wave-function renormalization corrections to the external Higgs fields are the dominant source of the quantum effects, which turn out to be large and negative, and located predominantly in the region around \tan\beta=1 and moderate values of the parameter \lambda_5 (being \lambda_5 < 0). Read More

We present a one-loop analysis of the pairwise production of neutral Higgs bosons (h0A0, H0A0) at linear colliders, such as the ILC and CLIC, within the general Two-Higgs-Doublet Model (2HDM). We single out sizable radiative corrections, which can well reach the level of 50 % and may be either positive (typically for \sqrt{s} \sim 0.5 TeV) and negative (for \sqrt{s} of 1 TeV and above). Read More

Cosmologies with running cosmological term (Lambda) and gravitational Newton's coupling (G) may naturally be expected if the evolution of the universe can ultimately be derived from the first principles of Quantum Field Theory or String Theory. In this paper, we derive the general cosmological perturbation equations for models with variable G and Lambda in which the fluctuations in both variables are explicitly included. We demonstrate that, if matter is covariantly conserved, the late growth of matter density perturbations is independent of the wavenumber. Read More

We present an unconventional approach for addressing the old cosmological constant (CC) problem in a class of F(R,G) models of modified gravity. For a CC of arbitrary size and sign the corresponding cosmological evolution follows an expansion history which strikingly resembles that of our real universe. The effects of the large CC are relaxed dynamically and there is no fine-tuning at any stage. Read More

Despite the many outstanding cosmological observations leading to a strong evidence for a nonvanishing cosmological constant (CC) term in the gravitational field equations, the theoretical status of this quantity seems to be lagging well behind the observational successes. It thus seems timely to revisit some fundamental aspects of the CC term in Quantum Field Theory (QFT). We emphasize that, in curved space-time, nothing a priori prevents this term from potentially having a mild running behavior associated to quantum effects. Read More

The pairwise production of neutral Higgs bosons is analyzed in the context of the future linear colliders, such as the ILC and CLIC, within the general Two-Higgs-Doublet Model (2HDM). The corresponding cross-sections are computed at the one-loop level in full compliance with the current phenomenological bounds and the stringent theoretical constraints inherent to the consistency of the model. We uncover regions across the 2HDM parameter space, mainly for low tan\beta near 1 and moderate values of the relevant lambda_5 parameter, wherein the radiative corrections to the Higgs-pair production cross sections can comfortably reach 50% This behavior can be traced back to the enhancement capabilities of the trilinear Higgs self-interactions -- a trademark feature of the 2HDM, with no counterpart in the Minimal Supersymmetric Standard Model. Read More

We analyze some generic properties of the dark energy (DE) perturbations, in the case of a self-conserved DE fluid. We also apply a simple test (the "F-test") to compare a model to the data on large scale structure (LSS) under the assumption of negligible DE perturbations. We exemplify our discussions by means of the LXCDM model, showing that it provides a viable solution to the cosmological coincidence problem. Read More

The production of a single neutral Higgs boson h through (loop-induced) gamma-gamma collisions is explored in the context of the linear colliders within the general Two-Higgs-Doublet Model (2HDM). Two different mechanisms are analyzed: on the one hand, the scattering gamma gamma-> h of two real photons in a gamma-gamma collider; on the other, the more traditional mechanism of virtual photon fusion, e+e- -->e+e- + h. Owing to the peculiar properties of the Higgs boson self-interactions within the general 2HDM, we find that the overall production rates can be boosted up significantly, provided the charged Higgs mass is not too heavy. Read More