TY - JOUR

T1 - Critical number of fields in stochastic inflation

AU - Vennin, Vincent

AU - Assadullahi, Hooshyar

AU - Firouzjahi, Hassan

AU - Noorbala, Mahdiyar

AU - Wands, David

PY - 2017/1/20

Y1 - 2017/1/20

N2 - Stochastic effects in generic scenarios of inflation with multiple fields are investigated. First passage time techniques are employed to calculate the statistical moments of the number of inflationary e-folds, which give rise to all correlation functions of primordial curvature perturbations through the stochastic δN formalism. The number of fields is a critical parameter. The probability of exploring arbitrarily large-field regions of the potential becomes nonvanishing when more than two fields are driving inflation. The mean number of e-folds can be infinite, depending on the number of fields; for plateau potentials, this occurs even with one field. In such cases, correlation functions of curvature perturbations are infinite. They can, however, be regularized if a reflecting (or absorbing) wall is added at large energy or field value. The results are found to be independent of the exact location of the wall and this procedure is, therefore, well defined for a wide range of cutoffs, above or below the Planck scale. Finally, we show that, contrary to single-field setups, multifield models can yield large stochastic corrections even at sub-Planckian energy, opening interesting prospects for probing quantum effects on cosmological fluctuations.

AB - Stochastic effects in generic scenarios of inflation with multiple fields are investigated. First passage time techniques are employed to calculate the statistical moments of the number of inflationary e-folds, which give rise to all correlation functions of primordial curvature perturbations through the stochastic δN formalism. The number of fields is a critical parameter. The probability of exploring arbitrarily large-field regions of the potential becomes nonvanishing when more than two fields are driving inflation. The mean number of e-folds can be infinite, depending on the number of fields; for plateau potentials, this occurs even with one field. In such cases, correlation functions of curvature perturbations are infinite. They can, however, be regularized if a reflecting (or absorbing) wall is added at large energy or field value. The results are found to be independent of the exact location of the wall and this procedure is, therefore, well defined for a wide range of cutoffs, above or below the Planck scale. Finally, we show that, contrary to single-field setups, multifield models can yield large stochastic corrections even at sub-Planckian energy, opening interesting prospects for probing quantum effects on cosmological fluctuations.

KW - RCUK

KW - STFC

KW - ST/K00090X/1

KW - N000668/1

U2 - 10.1103/PhysRevLett.118.031301

DO - 10.1103/PhysRevLett.118.031301

M3 - Article

SN - 0031-9007

VL - 118

JO - Physical Review Letters

JF - Physical Review Letters

M1 - 031301

ER -