Universal correction to the inflationary vacuum

Brian R. Greene, Maulik K. Parikh, Jan Pieter Van Der Schaar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


The Bunch-Davies state appears precisely thermal to a free-falling observer in de Sitter space. However, precise thermality is unphysical because it violates energy conservation. Instead, the true spectrum must take a certain different form, with the Boltzmann factor exp (-βω k) replaced by exp (ΔS), where S is the entropy of the de Sitter horizon. The deviation from precise thermality can be regarded as an explicitly calculable correction to the Bunch-Davies state. This correction is mandatory in that it relies only on energy conservation. The modified Bunch-Davies state leads, in turn, to an (H/M p) 2 modification of the primordial power spectrum of inflationary perturbations, which we determine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number057
JournalJournal of High Energy Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Classical Theories of Gravity
  • Cosmology of Theories beyond the SM

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics


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