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Decoding the bispectrum of single-field inflation

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Non-gaussian statistics of the primordial fluctuations encode precise information on whichever microphysics operated during the early Universe. In anticipation of Planck’s results, our best hope is to use observational data to place tight constraints on inflationary models. In this talk I will review primordial non-gaussianities arising in single-field inflation. I will argue that the bispectrum shapes present in different theories are generically very similar, which can undermine the ability of using shapes to distinguish between models with different microphysics. However, I will argue it might still be possible to tell models apart by using a mode decomposition. I will illustrate this method using the examples of DBI and k-inflation.

This talk will be based on arXivs 1103.4126 and 1108.3839.

This talk is part of the Cosmology Lunch series.

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