The Attractiveness of Higher Dimensional Operators for Inflation

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Scalar field models of early universe inflation are effective field theories, typically valid only up to some UV energy scale, and receive corrections through higher dimensional operators due to the UV physics. Corrections to the tree level inflationary potential by these operators can ruin an otherwise suitable model of inflation. In this talk, I will consider higher dimensional kinetic operators, and the corrections that they give to the dynamics of the inflaton field. In particular, I will show how inflationary solutions exist even when the higher dimensional operators are important and not tuned to be negligible. I will then show that these solutions, which include the usual slow roll inflationary solutions, are attractors in phase space. I will end by speculating on the role of the corrections from these higher dimensional operators in alleviating the homogeneous initial conditions problem for inflation.