Probing inflation with CMB polarization

Daniel Baumann, Mark G. Jackson, Peter Adshead, Alexandre Amblard, Amjad Ashoorioon, Nicola Bartolo, Rachel Bean, Maria Beltrán, Francesco De Bernardis, Simeon Bird, Xingang Chen, Daniel J.H. Chung, Loris Colombo, Asantha Cooray, Paolo Creminelli, Scott Dodelson, Joanna Dunkley, Cora Dvorkin, Richard Easther, Fabio FinelliRaphael Flauger, Mark P. Hertzberg, Katherine Jones-Smith, Shamit Kachru, Kenji Kadota, Justin Khoury, William H. Kinney, Eiichiro Komatsu, Lawrence M. Krauss, Julien Lesgourgues, Andrew Liddle, Michele Liguori, Eugene Lim, Andrei Linde, Sabino Matarrese, Harsh Mathur, Liam McAllister, Alessandro Melchiorri, Alberto Nicolis, Luca Pagano, Hiranya V. Peiris, Marco Peloso, Levon Pogosian, Elena Pierpaoli, Antonio Riotto, Uroš Seljak, Leonardo Senatore, Sarah Shandera, Eva Silverstein, Tristan Smith, Pascal Vaudrevange, Licia Verde, Ben Wandelt, David Wands, Scott Watson, Mark Wyman, Amit Yadav, Wessel Valkenburg, Matias Zaldarriaga

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

294 Scopus citations


We summarize the utility of precise cosmic microwave background (CMB) polarization measurements as probes of the physics of inflation. We focus on the prospects for using CMB measurements to differentiate various inflationary mechanisms. In particular, a detection of primordial B-mode polarization would demonstrate that inflation occurred at a very high energy scale, and that the inflaton traversed a super-Planckian distance in field space. We explain how such a detection or constraint would illuminate aspects of physics at the Planck scale. Moreover, CMB measurements can constrain the scale-dependence and non-Gaussianity of the primordial fluctuations and limit the possibility of a significant isocurvature contribution. Each such limit provides crucial information on the underlying inflationary dynamics. Finally, we quantify these considerations by presenting forecasts for the sensitivities of a future satellite experiment to the inflationary parameters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCMB Polarization Workshop
Subtitle of host publicationTheory and Foregrounds - CMBPol Mission Concept Study
PublisherAmerican Institute of Physics Inc.
Number of pages111
ISBN (Print)9780735406780
StatePublished - 2009
EventCMB Polarization Workshop: Theory And Foregrounds - Batavia, IL, United States
Duration: Jun 23 2008Jun 26 2008

Publication series

NameAIP Conference Proceedings
ISSN (Print)0094-243X
ISSN (Electronic)1551-7616


OtherCMB Polarization Workshop: Theory And Foregrounds
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityBatavia, IL


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