Regular Article - Theoretical Physics
On corpuscular theory of inflation
Department of Physics, Princeton University, Jadwin Hall, Princeton, NJ, 08540, USA
* e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 2 February 2017
Published online: 16 February 2017
In order to go beyond the mean-field approximation, commonly used in the inflationary computations, an identification of the quantum constituents of the inflationary background is made. In particular, the homogeneous scalar field configuration is represented as a Bose–Einstein condensate of the off-shell inflaton degrees of freedom, with mass significantly screened by the gravitational binding energy. The gravitational counterpart of the classical background is considered to be a degenerate state of the off-shell longitudinal gravitons with the frequency of the order of the Hubble scale. As a result, the origin of the density perturbations in the slow-roll regime is identified as an uncertainty in the position of the constituent inflatons. While in the regime of eternal inflation, the scattering of the constituent gravitons becomes the relevant source of the density perturbations. The gravitational waves, on the other hand, originate from the annihilation of the constituent longitudinal gravitons at all energy scales. This results in the quantum depletion of the classical background, leading to the upper bound on the number of e-folds, after which the semi-classical description is expected to break down; this is estimated to be of the order of the entropy of the initial Hubble patch.
© The Author(s), 2017