Single field inflation : observables and constraints
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One of the exciting aspects of cosmology is to understand the period of `cosmic inflation' that powered the epoch of the Big Bang. Inflation has been very successful in explaining several puzzles of the standard big bang scenario. But the most important success of inflation is that it can explain the temperature fluctuations of cosmic microwave background and the large scale structures of the universe. Despite its great success, the details of the physics of inflation are still unknown. A large number of models of inflation successfully explain all the observations making it remarkably hard to distinguish between different models. We explore the possibility of differentiating between different inflationary models by studying two-point and three-point functions of primordial fluctuations produced during inflation. First, we explore possible constraints on the inflationary equation state by considering current measurements of the power spectrum. Next, we explore the possibility of a single field slow-roll inflationary model with general initial state for primordial fluctuations. The two-point and three-point functions of primordial fluctuations are generally computed assuming that the fluctuations are initially in the Bunch-Davies state. However, we show that the constraints on the initial state from observed power spectrum and local bispectrum are relatively weak and for slow-roll inflation a large number of initial states are consistent with the current observations. As the precision of the observations is increasing significantly, we may learn more about the initial state of the fluctuations in the near future. Finally, we explore the consistency relations for the three-point functions, in the squeezed limit, of scalar and tensor perturbations in single-field inflation that in principle can be used to differentiate between single-field and multi-field inflation models. However, for slow-roll inflation, we find that it is possible to violate some of the consistency relations for initial states that are related to the Bunch-Davies state by Bogoliubov transformations and we identify the reason for the violation. Then we discuss the observational implications of this violation.