On the Cosmological Frame Problem
A. Pilaftsis* and S. Karamitsos
August 22, 2018
August 24, 2018
We introduce a fully-frame covariant formalism for inflation by taking into account conformal transformations in addition to field reparameterizations. We begin by providing a brief overview of frame problems in the history of science before outlining the crux of the frame problem in inflationary cosmology. After introducing the concept of frame tensors in curved field space, we demonstrate how the quantum perturbations and the observables sourced by them can be made frame covariant. We then specialize to two-field models, examining the impact of isocurvature effects on the inflationary observables in a frame-covariant manner. We study the phenomenology of two particular models, a minimal polynomial model and a nonminimal model inspired by Higgs inflation. We observe that in the latter scenario, isocurvature effects are greatly enhanced. Moving beyond the tree-level approximation, we outline how our approach may be extended at the quantum level through the Vilkovisky--De Witt formalism and the generalization of frame tensors to configuration space, leading to a fully frame-invariant effective action. Finally, we summarize our findings and present possible future directions of research on the topic of frame covariance.
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