Primordial gravity wave fossils and their use in testing inflation

Kavli Affiliate: Kiyoshi Wesley Masui

| First 5 Authors: Kiyoshi Wesley Masui, Ue-Li Pen, , ,

| Summary:

A new effect is described by which primordial gravity waves leave a permanent
signature in the large scale structure of the Universe. The effect occurs at
second order in perturbation theory and is sensitive to the order in which
perturbations on different scales are generated. We derive general forecasts
for the detectability of the effect with future experiments, and consider
observations of the pre-reionization gas through the 21 cm line. It is found
that the Square Kilometre Array will not be competitive with current cosmic
microwave background constraints on primordial gravity waves from inflation.
However, a more futuristic experiment could, through this effect, provide the
highest ultimate sensitivity to tensor modes and possibly even measure the
tensor spectral index. It is thus a potentially quantitative probe of the
inflationary paradigm.

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