ACP Seminar (Astronomy - Cosmology - Particle Physics)

Speaker: Joseph M. Fedrow (Palomar College / UCSD)
Title: The Great Inflationary Debate: Inflation in a Post-Planck World
Date (JST): Wed, Jul 16, 2014, 13:30 - 15:00
Place: Seminar Room A
Abstract: Classic inflation, using a simple parabolic inflaton, has recently come under scrutiny in light of results from the Planck satellite. From the Planck constraints on the scalar spectral index and the tensor-to-scalar ratio, a group of authors have claimed that, for the first time, classic inflation is disfavored by data and the class of models that are now favored are inherently flawed. Thus, calling into question the very foundations of the inflationary paradigm. However, a different group of authors have claimed that in light of the Planck results the inflationary paradigm is on the strongest footing it's ever been on. I have called this difference of opinion 'The Great Inflationary Debate' and in this talk I will discuss both sides of the debate. In addition, I will take into consideration the most recent measurement of the tensor-to-scalar ratio taken with BICEP2 and see how it influences the debate. I will then conclude with a brief discussion about which modern models of inflation best fit the observational results from both Planck and BICEP2.