Perturbations in the cosmic microwave background caused by excited quantum states and connection to observation
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I studied the effect of excited state initial conditions on the inflationary perturbation wavefunction and the possible effects they have on the observed spectrum of primoridal fluctuations. A de Sitter Universe approximation was used with a quantum harmonic oscillator model for the initial conditions in the Schrodinger picture. It was found that the power spectrum of any excited state only changes by a scalar multiple. This tells us the amplitude of the fluctuations are different for each corresponding state, which causes an observable change in the power spectrum. For the super-horizon modes of the fluctuations resulting from the process of inflation, a spectral index of ns = 1 was found.