1,653 research outputs found

    Inflation over the hill

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    We calculate the power spectrum of curvature perturbations when the inflaton field is rolling over the top of a local maximum of a potential. We show that the evolution of the field can be decomposed into a late-time attractor, which is identified as the slow roll solution, plus a rapidly decaying non-slow roll solution, corresponding to the field rolling ``up the hill'' to the maximum of the potential. The exponentially decaying transient solution can map to an observationally relevant range of scales because the universe is also expanding exponentially. We consider the two branches separately and we find that they are related through a simple transformation of the slow roll parameter η\eta and they predict identical power spectra. We generalize this approach to the case where the inflaton field is described by both branches simultaneously and find that the mode equation can be solved exactly at all times. Even though the slow roll parameter η\eta is evolving rapidly during the transition from the transient solution to the late-time attractor solution, the resultant power spectrum is an exact power-law spectrum. Such solutions may be useful for model-building on the string landscape.Comment: 11 pages, 1 figure (V3: Version accepted by PRD, title changed by journal

    On Adiabatic Renormalization of Inflationary Perturbations

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    We discuss the impact of adiabatic renormalization on the power spectrum of scalar and tensor perturbations from inflation. We show that adiabatic regularization is ambiguous as it leads to very different results, for different adiabatic subtraction schemes, both in the range v\equiv k/(aH) \gsim 0.1 and in the infrared regime. All these schemes agree in the far ultraviolet, v1v\gg 1. Therefore, we argue that in the far infrared regime, v1v\ll 1, the adiabatic expansion is no longer valid, and the unrenormalized spectra are the physical, measurable quantities. These findings cast some doubt on the validity of the adiabatic subtraction at horizon exit, v=1v=1, to determine the perturbation spectra from inflation which has recently advocated in the literature.Comment: 7 pages, 3 figures, revtex. New version with more results and modified plot

    Nucleosynthesis Without a Computer

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    I derive completely analytically the time evolution and final abundances of the light elements (up to Be-7) formed in the big-bang nucleosynthesis.This highlights an interesting physics taking place during the formation of light elements in the early universe.Comment: 3 figures; uses tcilate

    Cosmological Inflation and the Quantum Measurement Problem

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    According to cosmological inflation, the inhomogeneities in our universe are of quantum mechanical origin. This scenario is phenomenologically very appealing as it solves the puzzles of the standard hot big bang model and naturally explains why the spectrum of cosmological perturbations is almost scale invariant. It is also an ideal playground to discuss deep questions among which is the quantum measurement problem in a cosmological context. Although the large squeezing of the quantum state of the perturbations and the phenomenon of decoherence explain many aspects of the quantum to classical transition, it remains to understand how a specific outcome can be produced in the early universe, in the absence of any observer. The Continuous Spontaneous Localization (CSL) approach to quantum mechanics attempts to solve the quantum measurement question in a general context. In this framework, the wavefunction collapse is caused by adding new non linear and stochastic terms to the Schroedinger equation. In this paper, we apply this theory to inflation, which amounts to solving the CSL parametric oscillator case. We choose the wavefunction collapse to occur on an eigenstate of the Mukhanov-Sasaki variable and discuss the corresponding modified Schroedinger equation. Then, we compute the power spectrum of the perturbations and show that it acquires a universal shape with two branches, one which remains scale invariant and one with nS=4, a spectral index in obvious contradiction with the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) anisotropy observations. The requirement that the non-scale invariant part be outside the observational window puts stringent constraints on the parameter controlling the deviations from ordinary quantum mechanics... (Abridged).Comment: References added, minor corrections, conclusions unchange

    A note on the equivalence of a barotropic perfect fluid with a K-essence scalar field

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    In this short note, we obtain the necessary and sufficient condition for a class of non-canonical single scalar field models to be exactly equivalent to barotropic perfect fluids, under the assumption of an irrotational fluid flow. An immediate consequence of this result is that the non-adiabatic pressure perturbation in this class of scalar field systems vanishes exactly at all orders in perturbation theory and on all scales. The Lagrangian for this general class of scalar field models depends on both the kinetic term and the value of the field. However, after a field redefinition, it can be effectively cast in the form of a purely kinetic K-essence model.Comment: 4 pages, 1 figure; v2: References and footnotes 3 and 4 added. Replaced to match published versio

    Possible Explanation to Low CMB Quadrupole

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    The universe might experience many cycles with different vacua. The slow-roll inflation may be preceded by kinetic-dominated contraction occurring in "adjacent" vacua during some cycles. In this report we briefly show this phenomenon may lead to a cutoff of primordial power spectrum. Thus in some sense the CMB at large angular scale might encode the information of other vacua.Comment: 10 pages, 3 eps figures, accepted for publication in PRD, v2 revised with published versio

    Quantum modes in DBI inflation: exact solutions and constraints from vacuum selection

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    We study a two-parameter family of exactly solvable inflation models with variable sound speed, and derive a corresponding exact expression for the spectrum of curvature perturbations. We generalize this expression to the slow roll case, and derive an approximate expression for the scalar spectral index valid to second order in slow roll. We apply the result to the case of DBI inflation, and show that for certain choices of slow roll parameters, the Bunch-Davies limit (a) does not exist, or (b) is sensitive to stringy physics in the bulk, which in principle can have observable signatures in the primordial power spectrum.Comment: 10 pages, LaTeX; V2: version submitted to PRD. References added, minor error in text correcte

    Non-Gaussianity of scalar perturbations generated by conformal mechanisms

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    We consider theories which explain the flatness of the power spectrum of scalar perturbations in the Universe by conformal invariance, such as conformal rolling model and Galilean Genesis. We show that to the leading {\it non-linear} order, perturbations in all models from this class behave in one and the same way, at least if the energy density of the relevant fields is small compared to the total energy density (spectator approximation). We then turn to the intrinsic non-Gaussianities in these models (as opposed to non-Gaussianities that may be generated during subsequent evolution). The intrinsic bispectrum vanishes, so we perform the complete calculation of the trispectrum and compare it with the trispecta of local forms in various limits. The most peculiar feature of our trispectrum is a (fairly mild) singularity in the limit where two momenta are equal in absolute value and opposite in direction (folded limit). Generically, the intrinsic non-Gaussianity can be of detectable size.Comment: 28 pages, 5 figures. Journal version. A comment on the size of the non-Gaussianities inserted. Misprints corrected. A reference adde