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Published September 2020 | Submitted + Published
Journal Article Open

Planck 2018 results. X. Constraints on inflation


We report on the implications for cosmic inflation of the 2018 release of the Planck cosmic microwave background (CMB) anisotropy measurements. The results are fully consistent with those reported using the data from the two previous Planck cosmological releases, but have smaller uncertainties thanks to improvements in the characterization of polarization at low and high multipoles. Planck temperature, polarization, and lensing data determine the spectral index of scalar perturbations to be n_s = 0.9649 ± 0.0042 at 68% CL. We find no evidence for a scale dependence of n_s, either as a running or as a running of the running. The Universe is found to be consistent with spatial flatness with a precision of 0.4% at 95% CL by combining Planck with a compilation of baryon acoustic oscillation data. The Planck 95% CL upper limit on the tensor-to-scalar ratio, r_(0.002) <  0.10, is further tightened by combining with the BICEP2/Keck Array BK15 data to obtain r_(0.002) <  0.056. In the framework of standard single-field inflationary models with Einstein gravity, these results imply that: (a) the predictions of slow-roll models with a concave potential, V″(ϕ) < 0, are increasingly favoured by the data; and (b) based on two different methods for reconstructing the inflaton potential, we find no evidence for dynamics beyond slow roll. Three different methods for the non-parametric reconstruction of the primordial power spectrum consistently confirm a pure power law in the range of comoving scales 0.005 Mpc⁻¹ ≲ k ≲ 0.2 Mpc⁻¹. A complementary analysis also finds no evidence for theoretically motivated parameterized features in the Planck power spectra. For the case of oscillatory features that are logarithmic or linear in k, this result is further strengthened by a new combined analysis including the Planck bispectrum data. The new Planck polarization data provide a stringent test of the adiabaticity of the initial conditions for the cosmological fluctuations. In correlated, mixed adiabatic and isocurvature models, the non-adiabatic contribution to the observed CMB temperature variance is constrained to 1.3%, 1.7%, and 1.7% at 95% CL for cold dark matter, neutrino density, and neutrino velocity, respectively. Planck power spectra plus lensing set constraints on the amplitude of compensated cold dark matter-baryon isocurvature perturbations that are consistent with current complementary measurements. The polarization data also provide improved constraints on inflationary models that predict a small statistically anisotropic quadupolar modulation of the primordial fluctuations. However, the polarization data do not support physical models for a scale-dependent dipolar modulation. All these findings support the key predictions of the standard single-field inflationary models, which will be further tested by future cosmological observations.

Additional Information

© 2020 Planck Collaboration. Open Access article, published by EDP Sciences, under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Received 17 July 2018; Accepted 19 August 2019; Published online 11 September 2020. Planck (http://www.esa.int/Planck) is a project of the European Space Agency (ESA) with instruments provided by two scientific consortia funded by ESA member states and led by Principal Investigators from France and Italy, telescope reflectors provided through a collaboration between ESA and a scientific consortium led and funded by Denmark, and additional contributions from NASA (USA). We are grateful to Jan Hamann and Jim Zibin for extensive help with the final editing of this manuscript. The Planck Collaboration acknowledges the support of: ESA; CNES and CNRS/INSU-IN2P3-INP (France); ASI, CNR, and INAF (Italy); NASA and DoE (USA); STFC and UKSA (UK); CSIC, MINECO, JA, and RES (Spain); Tekes, AoF, and CSC (Finland); DLR and MPG (Germany); CSA (Canada); DTU Space (Denmark); SER/SSO (Switzerland); RCN (Norway); SFI (Ireland); FCT/MCTES (Portugal); ERC and PRACE (EU). A description of the Planck Collaboration and a list of its members, indicating which technical or scientific activities they have been involved in, can be found at http://www.cosmos.esa.int/web/planck/planck-collaboration.

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August 19, 2023
October 18, 2023