Inflationary paradigm in trouble after Planck2013

Anna Ijjas, Paul J. Steinhardt, Abraham Loeb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

184 Scopus citations

Abstract

Recent results from the Planck satellite combined with earlier observations from WMAP, ACT, SPT and other experiments eliminate a wide spectrum of more complex inflationary models and favor models with a single scalar field, as reported by the Planck Collaboration. More important, though, is that all the simplest inflaton models are disfavored statistically relative to those with plateau-like potentials. We discuss how a restriction to plateau-like models has three independent serious drawbacks: it exacerbates both the initial conditions problem and the multiverse-unpredictability problem and it creates a new difficulty that we call the inflationary "unlikeliness problem." Finally, we comment on problems reconciling inflation with a standard model Higgs, as suggested by recent LHC results. In sum, we find that recent experimental data disfavors all the best-motivated inflationary scenarios and introduces new, serious difficulties that cut to the core of the inflationary paradigm. Forthcoming searches for B-modes, non-Gaussianity and new particles should be decisive.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)261-266
Number of pages6
JournalPhysics Letters, Section B: Nuclear, Elementary Particle and High-Energy Physics
Volume723
Issue number4-5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 25 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics

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