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Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics 03 (2009) 027
Multi-Field Inflation on the Landscape
D. Battefeld1, 2, T. Battefeld3

We examine a wide class of multi-field inflationary models based on fields that decay or stabilize during inflation in a staggered fashion. The fields driving assisted inflation are on flat, short stretches, before they encounter a sharp drop; whenever a field encounters such a drop due to its slow roll evolution, its energy is transferred to other degrees of freedom, i.e. radiation. The rate at which fields decay is determined dynamically and it is not a free parameter in this class of models. To compute observables, we generalize the analytic framework of staggered inflation, allowing for more general initial conditions and varying potentials. By searching for generic situations arising on the landscape, we arrive at a setup involving linear or hilltop potentials and evenly spread out initial field values. This scenario is not more fine tuned than large-field models, despite the fact that many more degrees of freedom are involved. Further, the $\eta$-problem can be alleviated. The additional decrease of the potential energy caused by the decay of fields provides leading order contribution to observables, such as the scalar and tensor spectral index or the tensor to scalar ratio, for which we derive general expressions. We compare the predictions with WMAP5 constraints and find that hilltop potentials are borderline ruled out at the $2\sigma$-level, while linear potentials are in excellent agreement with observations. We further comment on additional sources of gravitational waves and non-Gaussianities that could serve as a smoking gun for staggered inflation.
1 :  Helsinki Institute of Physics
2 :  APC - UMR 7164 - AstroParticule et Cosmologie
3 :  Princeton University, Department of Physics
Physique/Astrophysique/Cosmologie et astrophysique extra-galactique

Planète et Univers/Astrophysique/Cosmologie et astrophysique extra-galactique

Physique/Physique des Hautes Energies - Théorie
cosmological perturbation theory – inflation – string theory and cosmology
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