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Published April 7, 2008 | Published
Journal Article Open

Red density perturbations and inflationary gravitational waves


We study the implications of recent indications from the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) and other cosmological data for a red spectrum of primordial density perturbations for the detection of inflationary gravitational waves (IGWs) with forthcoming cosmic microwave background experiments. We consider a variety of single-field power-law, chaotic, spontaneous symmetry-breaking and Coleman–Weinberg inflationary potentials which are expected to provide a sizable tensor component and quantify the expected tensor-to-scalar ratio given existing constraints from WMAP on the tensor-to-scalar ratio and the power spectrum tilt. We discuss the ability of the near-future Planck satellite to detect the IGW background in the framework of those models. We find that the proposed satellite missions of the Cosmic Vision and Inflation Probe programs will be able to detect IGWs from all the models we have surveyed at better than 5σ confidence level. We also provide an example of what is required if the IGW background is to remain undetected even by these latter experiments.

Additional Information

Copyright © IOP Publishing Limited and SISSA 2008. Received 13 January 2008, accepted for publication 14 March 2008. Published 7 April 2008. We thank W Kinney for useful discussions and comments on an earlier draft. AC acknowledges support from NSF CAREER AST-0645427. MK acknowledges support from DoE DE-FG03-92-ER40701, NASA NNG05GF69G, and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

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