New inflation vs. chaotic inflation, higher degree potentials and the reconstruction program in light of WMAP3
- Author(s): Boyanovsky, D.;
- et al.
The cosmic microwave background power spectra are studied for different families of single field new and chaotic inflation models in the effective field theory approach to inflation. We implement a systematic expansion in 1/N(e), where N(e)~;;50 is the number of e-folds before the end of inflation. We study the dependence of the observables (n(s), r and dn(s)/dlnk) on the degree of the potential (2n) and confront them to the WMAP3 and large scale structure data: This shows in general that fourth degree potentials (n=2) provide the best fit to the data; the window of consistency with the WMAP3 and LSS data narrows for growing n. New inflation yields a good fit to the r and n(s) data in a wide range of field and parameter space. Small field inflation yields r0.16 (for N(e)=50). All members of the new inflation family predict a small but negative running -4(n+1) x 10-4=0.16 (for N(e)=50) and only a restricted subset of chaotic models are consistent with the combined WMAP3 bounds on r, n(s), dn(s)/dlnk with a narrow window in field amplitude around |phi(c)|~;;15M(Pl). We conclude that a measurement of r<0.16 (for N(e)=50) distinctly rules out a large class of chaotic scenarios and favors small field new inflationary models. As a general consequence, new inflation emerges more favored than chaotic inflation.