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Effective field theories as a novel probe of fine-tuning of cosmic inflation

Azhar, Feraz (2019) Effective field theories as a novel probe of fine-tuning of cosmic inflation. [Preprint]

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Abstract

The leading account of several salient observable features of our universe today is provided by the theory of cosmic inflation. But an important and thus far intractable question is whether inflation is generic, or whether it is finely tuned---requiring very precisely specified initial conditions. In this paper I argue that a recent, model-independent characterization of inflation, known as the 'effective field theory (EFT) of inflation', promises to address this question in a thoroughly modern and significantly more comprehensive way than in the existing literature.

To motivate and provide context for this claim, I distill three core problems with the theory of inflation, which I dub the permissiveness problem, the initial conditions problem, and the multiverse problem. I argue that the initial conditions problem lies within the scope of EFTs of inflation as they are currently conceived, whereas the other two problems remain largely intractable: their solution must await a more complete description of the very early universe. I highlight recent work that addresses the initial conditions problem within the context of a dynamical systems analysis of a specific (state-of-the-art) EFT of inflation, and conclude with a roadmap for how such work might be extended to realize the promise claimed above.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Azhar, Ferazfazhar@nd.edu
Keywords: Effective field theories, fine-tuning, cosmic inflation
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Cosmology
Specific Sciences > Probability/Statistics
Depositing User: Dr. Feraz Azhar
Date Deposited: 13 Nov 2019 12:49
Last Modified: 13 Nov 2019 12:49
Item ID: 16636
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Cosmology
Specific Sciences > Probability/Statistics
Date: 12 November 2019
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/16636

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