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Primordial non-Gaussianities in general modified gravitational models of inflation

By Antonio De Felice and Shinji Tsujikawa


We compute the three-point correlation function of primordial scalar density perturbations in a general single-field inflationary scenario, where a scalar field phi has a direct coupling with the Ricci scalar R and the Gauss-Bonnet term GB. Our analysis also covers the models in which the Lagrangian includes a function non-linear in the field kinetic energy X=-(nabla phi)^2/2, and a Galileon-type field self-interaction G(phi, X)*(Box phi), where G is a function of phi and X. We provide a general analytic formula for the equilateral non-Gaussianity parameter f_{NL}^{equil} associated with the bispectrum of curvature perturbations. A quasi de Sitter approximation in terms of slow-variation parameters allows us to derive a simplified form of f_{NL}^{equil} convenient to constrain various inflation models observationally. If the propagation speed of the scalar perturbations is much smaller than the speed of light, the Gauss-Bonnet term as well as the Galileon-type field self-interaction can give rise to large non-Gaussianities testable in future observations. We also show that, in Brans-Dicke theory with a field potential (including f(R) gravity), f_{NL}^{equil} is of the order of slow-roll parameters as in standard inflation driven by a minimally coupled scalar field.Comment: 25 pages, added subsection, uses RevTeX4-

Topics: Astrophysics - Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics, General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology, High Energy Physics - Theory
Year: 2011
DOI identifier: 10.1088/1475-7516/2011/04/029
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