Massive Fields as Systematics for Single Field Inflation [CEA]

During inflation, massive fields can contribute to the power spectrum of curvature perturbation via a dimension-5 operator. This contribution can be considered as a bias for the program of using $n_s$ and $r$ to select inflation models. Even the dimension-5 operator is suppressed by $\Lambda = M_p$, there is still a significant shift on the $n_s$-$r$ diagram if the massive fields have $m\sim H$. On the other hand, if the heavy degree of freedom appear only at the same energy scale as the suppression scale of the dimension-5 operator, then significant shift on the $n_s$-$r$ diagram takes place at $m=\Lambda \sim 70H$, which is around the inflationary time-translation symmetry breaking scale. Hence, the systematics from massive fields pose a greater challenge for future high precision experiments for inflationary model selection. This result can be thought of as the impact of UV sensitivity to inflationary observables.

Read this paper on arXiv…

H. Jiang and Y. Wang
Tue, 14 Mar 17

Comments: 11 pages, 3 figures