Tranberg, Anders; Tähtinen, Sara; Weir, David J.
(2018)
We compute the gravitational wave spectrum from a tachyonic preheating transition of a Standard Model-like SU(2)-Higgs system. Tachyonic preheating involves exponentially growing IR modes, at scales as large as the horizon. Such a transition at the electroweak scale could be detectable by LISA, if these non-perturbatively large modes translate into non-linear dynamics sourcing gravitational waves. Through large-scale numerical simulations, we find that the spectrum of gravitational waves does not exhibit such IR features. Instead, we find two peaks corresponding to the Higgs and gauge field mass, respectively. We find that the gravitational wave production is reduced when adding non-Abelian gauge fields to a scalar-only theory, but increases when adding Abelian gauge fields. In particular, gauge fields suppress the gravitational wave spectrum in the IR. A tachyonic transition in the early Universe will therefore not be detectable by LISA, even if it involves non-Abelian gauge fields.