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Direct detection of the inflationary gravitational-wave background

Smith, Tristan L. and Kamionkowski, Marc and Cooray, Asantha (2006) Direct detection of the inflationary gravitational-wave background. Physical Review D, 73 (2). Art. No. 023504. ISSN 0556-2821. http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:SMIprd06a

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Abstract

Inflation generically predicts a stochastic background of gravitational waves over a broad range of frequencies, from those accessible with cosmic microwave background (CMB) measurements, to those accessible directly with gravitational-wave detectors, like NASA's Big-Bang Observer (BBO) or Japan's Deci-Hertz Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observer (DECIGO), both currently under study. Here we investigate the detectability of the inflationary gravitational-wave background at BBO/DECIGO frequencies. To do so, we survey a range of slow-roll inflationary models consistent with constraints from the CMB and large-scale structure (LSS). We go beyond the usual assumption of power-law power spectra, which may break down given the 16 orders of magnitude in frequency between the CMB and direct detection, and solve instead the inflationary dynamics for four classes of inflaton potentials. Direct detection is possible in a variety of inflationary models, although probably not in any in which the gravitational-wave signal does not appear in the CMB polarization. However, direct detection by BBO/DECIGO can help discriminate between inflationary models that have the same slow-roll parameters at CMB/LSS scales.


Item Type:Article
Additional Information:©2006 The American Physical Society (Received 17 June 2005; published 9 January 2006) During the preparation of this paper, we learned of unpublished recent work, along similar lines, by Will Kinney as part of a BBO mission concept study [105]. This work was supported in part by DoE DE-FG03-92-ER40701 and NASA NNG05GF69G. T.L.S. acknowledges the support of the NSF.
Group:TAPIR
Subject Keywords:cosmology; gravitational waves; radiofrequency cosmic radiation; astronomical spectra
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:SMIprd06a
Persistent URL:http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:SMIprd06a
Alternative URL:http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevD.73.023504
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:5373
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Archive Administrator
Deposited On:16 Oct 2006
Last Modified:26 Dec 2012 09:05

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