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On the Importance of Heavy Fields in Pseudo-Scalar Inflation

Title: On the Importance of Heavy Fields in Pseudo-Scalar Inflation

Speaker: Professor Siyi Zhou (Chongqing University)

Time: 14:00pm, August 16, 2023

Location: 3-302, PMO Xianlin Campus

Abstract: Pseudo-scalar inflation coupled with U(1) gauge fields through the Chern-Simons term has been extensively studied. However, new physics arising from UV theories may still influence the pseudo-scalar field at low-energy scales, potentially impacting predictions of inflation. In the realm of effective field theory (EFT), we investigated axion inflation, where operators from heavy fields are also present, in addition to the axion and gauge fields. The integrated out fields have two significant effects: the non-linear dispersion regime and coupling heavy modes to the Chern-Simons term. The first effect changes the propagation of the curvature fluctuation, while the second one results in additional operators that contribute to curvature fluctuation via inverse decay. We derived the power spectrum and magnitude of equilateral non-Gaussianity in this low-energy EFT. We found that the second effect could become significant as the mass of heavy fields approaches Hubble scale.