Presentation Archive

Is the Classical Approximation Justified During Inflation?

Cliff Burgess

November 09, 2009

Abstract: Standard practice when building inflationary models is to compute the cosmological implications that follow from a particular choice of dynamics (such as a set of fields together with a particular scalar potential). Since these implications are invariably computed classically, a question implicit in these calculations asks what the domain of validity is for the classical approximation. This talk uses standard techniques to answer this question, for a fairly broad class of models. Although the classical approximation proves to be good for most inflationary models (at least up to the 10^(-5) accuracy associated with primordial density fluctuations), a few popular models do turn out to lie right on the hairy edge. Come find out which ones!