We use WMAP 9-year bispectrum data to constrain the free parameters of an ‘effective field theory’ describing fluctuations in single-field inflation. The Lagrangian of the theory contains a finite number of operators associated with unknown mass scales. Each operator produces a fixed bispectrum shape, which we decompose into partial waves in order to construct a likelihood function. Based on this likelihood we are able to constrain four linearly independent combinations of the mass scales. As an example of our framework we specialize our results to the case of ‘Dirac-Born-Infeld’ and ‘ghost’ inflation and obtain the posterior probability for each model, which in Bayesian schemes is a useful tool for model comparison. Our results suggest that DBI-like models with two or more free parameters are disfavoured by the data by comparison with single parameter models in the same class.
G. Anderson, D. Regan and D. Seery
Mon, 17 Mar 14