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Probing quantum gravitational physics via inflation

Final Activity Report Summary - PQGPCI (Probing quantum gravitational physics via inflation)

Cosmological Inflation, i.e. a period of acceleration expansion, is currently considered to be the best paradigm for the early universe. Generically, single canonical scalar field slow roll inflation predicts that the primordial perturbations are Gaussian, adiabatic, and have a nearly scale invariant spectrum. Recent measurements of the temperature anisotropies of the cosmic microwave background by the Wilkinson microwave anisotropy probe (WMAP) suggests that the observed power spectrum and scale invariance is consistent with the single scalar field inflation; however, the running of spectral index and non-Gaussianity cannot be explained by the single scalar field inflation model. This provided an opportunity to look for alternative models for inflation or alternative to inflation. This proposal had two main objectives:

1. To build and test new theoretical extensions to the standard models of cosmology and particle physics so as to quantify the quantum gravitational effects in the cosmic microwave background.
2. To look for new theories of gravity that violated Lorenz invariance at high energies.