The inflationary universe: a primordial bridge between fundamental theory and observable phenomena

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2023-12

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This dissertation encapsulates three connected projects that I have worked on as a graduate student. I begin with an introduction to the beautiful intersection of fundamental physics and the primordial universe that is inflationary cosmology. I then present the three main chapters of this dissertation. The first explores the possibility of realizing inflation in steep potentials via multi-field dynamics, which draws on motivations from string theory and the Swampland program. The second chapter examines multi-field inflation at a more fundamental level by rigorously constructing the types of solutions we can achieve in models with features expected in UV-complete theories. The last chapter shifts focus to the gravitational wave signatures that multi-field models of inflation exhibit, with special emphasis on the conditions for these signatures to be observable in upcoming gravitational wave observatories.

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