Standard Model Meets Gravity: Electroweak Symmetry Breaking and Inflation

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We propose a model for combining the Standard Model (SM) with gravity. It relies on a non-minimal coupling of the Higgs field to the Ricci scalar and on the Palatini formulation of gravity. Without introducing any new degrees of freedom in addition to those of the SM and the graviton, this scenario achieves two goals. First, it generates the electroweak symmetry breaking by a non-perturbative gravitational effect. In this way, it does not only address the hierarchy problem but opens up the possibility to calculate the Higgs mass. Second, the model incorporates inflation at energies below the onset of strong-coupling of the theory. Provided that corrections due to new physics above the scale of inflation are not unnaturally large, we can relate inflationary parameters to data from collider experiments.