Structure of correlation functions in single-field inflation

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Many statistics available to constrain non-Gaussianity from inflation are simplest to use under the assumption that the curvature correlation functions are hierarchical. That is, if the n-point function is proportional to the (n-1) power of the two-point function amplitude and the fluctuations are small, the probability distribution can be approximated by expanding around a Gaussian in moments. However, single-field inflation with higher derivative interactions has a second small number, the sound speed, that appears in the problem when non-Gaussianity is significant and changes the scaling of correlation functions. Here we examine the structure of correlation functions in the most general single scalar field action with higher derivatives, formalizing the conditions under which the fluctuations can be expanded around a Gaussian distribution. We comment about the special case of the Dirac-Born-Infeld action.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number123518
JournalPhysical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 24 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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