Effective Field Theory in Inflation

Conference Date: 
Wednesday, May 20, 2009 (All day) to Saturday, May 23, 2009 (All day)

 

Effective field theory is the cornerstone of our description of early universe cosmology, as exemplified by the theory of inflation. In recent years, interest in primordial non-gaussianity, loop corrections, initial state effects and the generic predictions of inflationary models has spurred a deeper theoretical understanding of effective field theory applied to time-dependent spacetimes.

 

This workshop will bring together 10-15 researchers to exchange ideas about these new methods, to better exploit the confrontation of inflationary models with data, with a particular focus on primordial non-gaussianity, and to develop a better understanding of effective field theoretic techniques.

 

 

 

Peter Adshead, Yale University

Thorsten Battefeld, Princeton University

Daniel Chung, UW Madison

Louis Leblond, Texas A&M

Eugene Lim, Columbia University

Liam McAllister, Cornell University

Albert Nicolis, Columbia University

Enrico Pajer, Cornell University

Jan Pieter van der Schaar, University of Amsterdam, Institute for Theoretical Physics

Sarah Shandera, Columbia University

Martin Sloth, University of Aarhus

Michael Trott, Perimeter Institute

Henry Tye, Cornell University

Scott Watson, University of Michigan

 

Thorsten Battefeld, Princeton University

Preheating after Multi-Field Inflation

We investigate the feasibility of explosive particle production via parametric resonance or tachyonic preheating in multi-field inflationary models by means of lattice simulations. We observe a strong suppression of resonances in the presence of four-leg interactions between the inflaton fields and a scalar matter field, leading to insufficient preheating when more than two inflatons couple to the same matter field. This suppression is caused by a dephasing of the inflatons that increases the effective mass of the matter field.  Including three-leg interactions leads to tachyonic preheating, which is not suppressed by an increase in the number of fields. If four-leg interactions are sub-dominant, we observe a slight enhancement of tachyonic preheating. Thus, in order for preheating after multi-field inflation to be efficient, one needs to ensure that three-leg interactions are present. If no tachyonic contributions exist, we expect the old theory of reheating to be applicable.


Hassan Firouzjahi, Institute for Research in Fundamental Sciences

Matrix Inflation

In this talk a model of inflation is presented where the inflaton fields are non-commutative matrices. The spectrum of adiabatic and iso-curvature perturbations and their implications on CMB are studied. It is argued that our model of matrix inflation can naturally be embedded in string theory.


Louis Leblond, Texas A&M

Perturbative Bounds in Inflation & Quantum Loops

We estimate the size of loop corrections in various inflationary systems and determine the region of parameter space where the perturbation theory around a quasi de Sitter background is strongly coupled.  In some models, we argue that backreaction to the inflatonary background become important before the erturbations become strongly coupled while in others, there seems to exist a legitimate strongly coupled but still inflating regime.  We also demonstrate that loop effects could be dominant in the bispectrum while still having a well controlled perturbation theory and we explore the phenomenological implications.


Eugene Lim, Columbia University

Can we tell whether Stochastic Gravitational Waves are really primordial?


Liam McAllister, Cornell University

Holographic Systematics of D-Brane Inflation


Albert Nicolis, Columbia University

Adiabatic perturbations as Goldstone bosons


Enrico Pajer, Cornell University

Inflation from axion monodromy


Sarah Shandera, Columbia University

Dealing with derivative interactions

Single field inflation with derivative interactions provides a class of scenarios with interesting theoretical and observational properties. I will discuss properties of correlation functions in generic single field models and the implications of those relationships for inflationary observables, as well as for eternal inflation.


Martin Sloth, University of Aarhus

Non-Gaussianity, Loops and the stability of de Sitter space


Michael Trott, Perimeter Institute

Power Counting vs Higgs Inflation

We use the power-counting formalism of effective field  theory to study the size of loop corrections in theories of slow-roll inflation, with the aim of more precisely identifying the limits of validity of the usual classical inflationary treatments. Although most slow-roll models lie within the semiclassical domain, we find the consistency of the Higgs-Inflaton scenario to be more delicate due to the proximity between the Hubble scale during inflation and the upper bound allowed by unitarity on the new-physics scale.


Henry Tye, Cornell University

Can we tell whether Stochastic Gravitational Waves are really primordial?


Jan Pieter van de Schaar, University of Amsterdam, Institute for Theoretical Physics

Bispectrum signatures of modifications to the inflationary vacuum

Modifications of the initial-state of the inflaton field can induce a departure from Gaussianity and leave a testable imprint on the higher order correlations of the CMB and large scale structures in the Universe. I will discuss general vacuum state modifications in the case of a canonical single-field action, after adding a dimension 8 higher order derivative term, and DBI models of inflation. Observed bounds on local and equilateral non-Gaussianities, even though they correspond to template shapes that are far from optimal, can lead to constraints that are already competing to those derived from the power spectrum alone, due to enhancement effects. We emphasize that the construction and application of especially adapted templates could lead to significant improvements in the CMB bispectrum constraints on modified initial states.


Scott Watson, University of Michigan

NEC Violation and String Inspired Alternatives to Inflation

Inflationary cosmology provides a causal mechanism for the generation of super-Hubble cosmological fluctuations.  There have been many alternative proposals suggested to accomplish this feat, however these all seem to share the need to violate at least the Null Energy Condition.  I will attempt to make this statement more precise, and focusing on the case of string motivated models that contain a gravi-scalar in their spectrum (such as the string theoretic dilaton) we will find a "no-go" theorem.  This provides an important challenge for models such as String Gas Cosmology and the Pre-Big Bang, if such models are to become more predictive.

 

Funding provided in part by:

Carnegie Mellon University 

NSERC-CRSNG