Probing inflation with CMB polarization

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AIP Conference Proceedings, ISSN: 0094-243X, Vol: 1141, Page: 10-120

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Daniel Baumann; Leonardo Senatore; Matias Zaldarriaga; Amit Yadav; Joanna Dunkley; Mark G. Jackson; Scott Dodelson; Peter Adshead; Richard Easther; Alexandre Amblard; Asantha Cooray; Amjad Ashoorioon; Kenji Kadota; Scott Watson; Nicola Bartolo; Sabino Matarrese; Rachel Bean; Maria Beltrán; Cora Dvorkin; Francesco De Bernardis; Alessandro Melchiorri; Luca Pagano; Simeon Bird; Hiranya V. Peiris; Xingang Chen; Mark P. Hertzberg; Daniel J.H. Chung; Loris Colombo; Elena Pierpaoli; Paolo Creminelli; Licia Verde; Fabio Finelli; Raphael Flauger; Katherine Jones-Smith; Harsh Mathur; Shamit Kachru; Andrei Linde; Eva Silverstein; Justin Khoury; Mark Wyman; William H. Kinney; Eiichiro Komatsu; Lawrence M. Krauss; Julien Lesgourgues; Antonio Riotto; Wessel Valkenburg; Andrew Liddle; Michele Liguori; Eugene Lim; Alberto Nicolis; Sarah Shandera; Liam McAllister; Marco Peloso; Levon Pogosian; Uroš Seljak; Tristan Smith; Pascal Vaudrevange; Ben Wandelt; David Wands Show More Hide
Physics and Astronomy; Physics
conference paper description
We summarize the utility of precise cosmic microwave background (CMB) polarization measurements as probes of the physics of inflation. We focus on the prospects for using CMB measurements to differentiate various inflationary mechanisms. In particular, a detection of primordial B-mode polarization would demonstrate that inflation occurred at a very high energy scale, and that the inflaton traversed a super-Planckian distance in field space. We explain how such a detection or constraint would illuminate aspects of physics at the Planck scale. Moreover, CMB measurements can constrain the scale-dependence and non-Gaussianity of the primordial fluctuations and limit the possibility of a significant isocurvature contribution. Each such limit provides crucial information on the underlying inflationary dynamics. Finally, we quantify these considerations by presenting forecasts for the sensitivities of a future satellite experiment to the inflationary parameters. © 2009 American Institute of Physics.