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Deciphering inflation with gravitational waves: Cosmic microwave background polarization vs direct detection with laser interferometers

Smith, Tristan L. and Peiris, Hiranya V. and Cooray, Asantha (2006) Deciphering inflation with gravitational waves: Cosmic microwave background polarization vs direct detection with laser interferometers. Physical Review D, 73 (12). Art. No. 123503. ISSN 2470-0010. doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.73.123503.

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A detection of the primordial gravitational wave background is considered to be the "smoking-gun" evidence for inflation. While superhorizon waves are probed with cosmic microwave background (CMB) polarization, the relic background will be studied with laser interferometers. The long lever arm spanned by the two techniques improves constraints on the inflationary potential and validation of consistency relations expected under inflation. If gravitational waves with a tensor-to-scalar amplitude ratio greater than 0.01 are detected by the CMB, then a direct-detection experiment with a sensitivity consistent with current concept studies should be pursued vigorously. If no primordial tensors are detected by the CMB, a direct-detection experiment to understand the simplest form of inflation must have a sensitivity improved by two to 3 orders of magnitude over current plans.

Item Type:Article
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Cooray, Asantha0000-0002-3892-0190
Additional Information:© 2006 The American Physical Society. (Received 6 February 2006; published 2 June 2006) After completing this paper, we became aware of the preprint [26] on the same topic using an approach similar to ours; we thank George Efstathiou for useful discussions on their calculation. We thank Richard Easther and Naoki Seto for useful discussions. H.V. P. is supported by NASA through Hubble Grant No. HF-01177.01-A from the Space Telescope Science Institute. T. L. S. acknowledges support from the NSF. A.C. is supported by the DOE at UC Irvine.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NASA Hubble FellowshipHF-01177.01-A
Department of Energy (DOE)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:radiofrequency cosmic radiation; gravitational waves; gravitational wave detectors; cosmology; light interferometry
Issue or Number:12
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:SMIprd06
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:3587
Deposited By: Archive Administrator
Deposited On:18 Jun 2006
Last Modified:08 Nov 2021 19:57

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