The Effective Field Theory of Inflation.

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PIRSA Number: 
08050006

Abstract

We study the effective field theory of inflation, i.e. the most general theory describing the fluctuations around a quasi de Sitter background, in the case of single field models. The scalar mode can be eaten by the metric by going to unitary gauge. In this gauge, the most general theory is built with the lowest dimension operators invariant under spatial diffeomorphisms, like g^{00} and K_{mu nu}, the extrinsic curvature of constant time surfaces. This approach allows us to characterize all the possible high energy corrections to simple slow-roll inflation, whose sizes are constrained by experiments. Also, it describes in a common language all single field models, including those with a small speed of sound and Ghost Inflation, and it makes explicit the implications of having a quasi de Sitter background. The non-linear realization of time diffeomorphisms forces correlation among different observables, like a reduced speed of sound and an enhanced level of non-Gaussianity.