Constraining inflationary scenarios with braneworld models and second order cosmological perturbations
Inflationary cosmology is the leading explanation of the very early universe. Many different models of inflation have been constructed which fit current observational data. In this work theoretical and numerical methods for constraining the parameter space of a wide class of such models are described. First, string-theoretic models with large non-Gaussian signatures are investigated. An upper bound is placed on the amplitude of primordial gravitational waves produced by ultra-violet Dirac-Born-Infeld inflation. In all but the most finely tuned cases, this bound is incompatible with a lower bound derived for inflationary models which exhibit a red spectrum and detectable non-Gaussianity. By analysing general non-canonical actions, a class of models is found which can evade the upper bound when the phase speed of perturbations is small. The multicoincident brane scenario with a finite number of branes is one such model. For models with a potentially observable gravitational wave spectrum the number of coincident branes is shown to take only small values. The second method of constraining inflationary models is the numerical calculation of second order perturbations for a general class of single field models. The Klein-Gordon equation at second order, written in terms of scalar field variations only, is numerically solved. The slow roll version of the second order source term is used and the method is shown to be extendable to the full equation. This procedure allows the evolution of second order perturbations in general and the calculation of the non-Gaussianity parameter in cases where there is no analytical solution available.
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