Thursday, April 03, 2014

Implications of cosmological tensor modes

New paper! What can we conclude about high energy physics from the BICEP2 observations of a cosmological tensor mode background? See earlier post Patterns on the Sky.
Does the BICEP2 Observation of Cosmological Tensor Modes Imply an Era of Nearly Planckian Energy Densities?  (arXiv:1404.0745)

Chiu Man Ho, Stephen D. H. Hsu

BICEP2 observations, interpreted most simply, suggest an era of inflation with energy densities of order ($10^{16}\, {\rm GeV})^4$, not far below the Planck density. However, models of TeV gravity with large extra dimensions might allow a very different interpretation involving much more modest energy scales. We discuss the viability of inflation in such models, and conclude that existing scenarios do not provide attractive alternatives to single field inflation in four dimensions. Because the detection of tensor modes strengthens our confidence that inflation occurred, it disfavors models of large extra dimensions, at least for the moment.

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