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Tensor modes in pure natural inflation


We study tensor modes in pure natural inflation [1], a recently-proposed inflationary model in which an axionic inflaton couples to pure Yang–Mills gauge fields. We find that the tensor-to-scalar ratio r is naturally bounded from below. This bound originates from the finiteness of the number of metastable branches of vacua in pure Yang–Mills theories. Details of the model can be probed by future cosmic microwave background experiments and improved lattice gauge theory calculations of the θ-angle dependence of the vacuum energy.

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