Joint cosmology seminar at Tufts:

Tuesday, February 6, 2018, 2:30 pm
574 Boston Ave, Room 310
Tufts University
Refreshments at 2:00 outside room 304

Effective field theory for axion monodromy inflation

Albion Lawrence


Axion monodromy inflation was first developed in the context of string models in order to evade apparent constraints on inflation with super-Planckian field ranges. In this talk I will describe the general effective field theory for these models, in terms of a massive tensor gauge field, which highlights how slow-roll inflation is protected from a wide class of quantum gravity corrections. Current bounds on CMB tensor modes push the theory into a strongly-coupled regime, which has two phases consistent with observation: standard slow-roll inflation with a flattened potential, or a variant of ``k-flation'' in which lowering the tensor power is correlated with enhanced non-Gaussianity.