Identifying the inflaton with primordial gravitational waves

Damien Easson, Brian A. Powell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


We explore the ability of experimental physics to uncover the underlying structure of the gravitational Lagrangian describing inflation. While the observable degeneracy of the inflationary parameter space is large, future measurements of observables beyond the adiabatic and tensor two-point functions, such as non-Gaussianity or isocurvature modes, might reduce this degeneracy. We show that, even in the absence of such observables, the range of possible inflaton potentials can be reduced with a precision measurement of the tensor spectral index, as might be possible with a direct detection of primordial gravitational waves.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number191302
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number19
StatePublished - May 11 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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