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Particle/Astrophysics Seminars, Fall 2007

December 4 , Tuesdays 11:30pm-12:30pm / the Miller Room, Rockefeller 221 (except where otherwise noted).

Wessel Valkenburg , Annecy

What do WMAP and SDSS really tell about inflation?

We present new constraints on the Hubble function H(phi) and subsequently on the inflationary scalar potential V(phi) from WMAP 3-year data combined with the Sloan Luminous Red Galaxy survey (SDSS-LRG), using a new methodology which appears to be more generic, conservative and model-independent than in most of the recent literature, since it depends neither on the slow-roll approximation, nor on any extrapolation scheme for the potential beyond the observable e-fold range, nor on additional assumptions about initial conditions for the inflaton velocity. Besides these new constraints, we will briefly discuss the accuracy of the slow-roll approximation in the light of present day observations, and the constraining power of extrapolation, which are both widely used in other works.
Host: Glenn Starkman