Constraints on the Inflation Effective Potential from the COBE DMR Results
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**Session 36 -- Particle Astrophysics**
*Display presentation, Tuesday, 9:30-6:30, Pauley Room*

## [36.03] Constraints on the Inflation Effective Potential from the COBE DMR Results

*H.Kurki-Suonio (Helsinki), G.Mathews (LLNL)*
A favored explanation for the generation of seed
fluctuations in the early universe is by the expansion
of quantum fluctuations of a scalar field during the
inflationary epoch. The *COBE* observations of the
angular anisotropy of the cosmic microwave background
on scales from a few degrees to the full sky is
therefore a measurement of a subset of these fluctuations
which are dependent upon a small piece of the
scalar-field effective potential which drives inflation. This
is particularly true since the fluctuations resolved by
*COBE* are for the most part larger than the horizon at
recombination and not yet distorted from the
inflation-generated spectrum by gravitational clustering on
sub-horizon scales.

We have therefore used the *COBE* angular correlation
function to constrain the shape of possible inflation
effective potentials. Indeed, the shape of the
inflation effective potential is not known. A large
number of different models, with different potentials,
some with many free parameters, have been proposed.
While most models lead to a spectrum which is nearly
scale invariant, this scale-invariance is not exact,
and some models lead to significantly
non-scale-invariant spectra. Although the constraints which can
be placed on effective potentials are not very
restrictive due to observational uncertainties, and
effects of cosmic variance, these studies do provide
at least some information and represent the only
direct observation of the shape of the inflation
effective potential.

Work performed in part under the auspices of the U.S.
Department of Energy by the Lawrence Livermore
National Laboratory under contract W-7405-ENG-48.

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