Understanding primordial physics in a finite universe
Sarah Shandera (Penn State)
October 27, 2016
Abstract: We hope to find clues about the particle physics of the primordial (inflationary?) universe in the statistics of cosmological perturbations. However, if the fluctuations are non-Gaussian then the statistics we observe can differ significantly from the global, mean predictions of an inflationary model. Current bounds on non-Gaussianity do not eliminate this possibility. I will discuss how the conclusions we draw about the primordial degrees of freedom are limited by the finiteness of our observable universe and how this relates to the initial conditions problem in inflation.