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Title: Cosmological Perturbations in Inflation and in de Sitter space
Authors: Pimentel, Guilherme Leite
Advisors: Maldacena, Juan M
Contributors: Physics Department
Keywords: AdS/CFT
Subjects: Physics
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: This thesis focuses on various aspects of inflationary fluctuations. First, we study gravitational wave fluctuations in de Sitter space. The isometries of the spacetime constrain to a few parameters the Wheeler-DeWitt wavefunctional of the universe, to cubic order in fluctuations. At cubic order, there are three independent terms in the wavefunctional. From the point of view of the bulk action, one term corresponds to Einstein gravity, and a new term comes from a cubic term in the curvature tensor. The third term is a pure phase and does not give rise to a new shape for expectation values of graviton fluctuations. These results can be seen as the leading order non-gaussian contributions in a slow-roll expansion for inflationary observables. We also use the wavefunctional approach to explain a universal consistency condition of n-point expectation values in single field inflation. This consistency condition relates a soft limit of an n-point expectation value to (n-1)-point expectation values. We show how these conditions can be easily derived from the wavefunctional point of view. Namely, they follow from the momentum constraint of general relativity, which is equivalent to the constraint of spatial diffeomorphism invariance. We also study expectation values beyond tree level. We show that subhorizon fluctuations in loop diagrams do not generate a mass term for superhorizon fluctuations. Such a mass term could spoil the predictivity of inflation, which is based on the existence of properly defined field variables that become constant once their wavelength is bigger than the size of the horizon. Such a mass term would be seen in the two point expectation value as a contribution that grows linearly with time at late times. The absence of this mass term is closely related to the soft limits studied in previous chapters. It is analogous to the absence of a mass term for the photon in quantum electrodynamics, due to gauge symmetry. Finally, we use the tools of holography and entanglement entropy to study superhorizon correlations in quantum field theories in de Sitter space. The entropy has interesting terms that have no equivalent in flat space field theories. These new terms are due to particle creation in an ex- panding universe. The entropy is calculated directly for free massive scalar theories. For theories with holographic duals, it is determined by the area of some extremal surface in the bulk geometry. We calculate the entropy for different classes of holographic duals. For one of these classes, the holographic dual geometry is an asymptotically Anti-de Sitter space that decays into a crunching cosmology, an open Friedmann-Robertson-Walker universe. The extremal surface used in the calculation of the entropy lies almost entirely on the slice of maximal scale factor of the crunching cosmology.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Physics

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