Scale-free primordial cosmology

Anna Ijjas, Paul J. Steinhardt, Abraham Loeb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The large-scale structure of the Universe suggests that the physics underlying its early evolution is scale-free. This was the historic motivation for the Harrison-Zel'dovich-Peebles spectrum and for inflation. Based on a hydrodynamical approach, we identify scale-free forms for the background equation of state for both inflationary and cyclic scenarios and use these forms to derive predictions for the spectral tilt and tensor-to-scalar ratio of primordial density perturbations. For the case of inflation, we find three classes of scale-free models with distinct predictions. Including all classes, we show that scale-free inflation predicts tensor-to-scalar ratio r>10-4. We show that the observationally favored class is theoretically disfavored because it suffers from an initial conditions problem and the hydrodynamical form of an unlikeliness problem similar to that identified recently for certain inflaton potentials. We contrast these results with those for scale-free cyclic models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number023525
JournalPhysical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 28 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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