Date of Original Version

6-2010

Type

Article

Rights Management

© 2010 IOP Publishing Ltd

Abstract or Description

Massless interacting scalar fields in de Sitter space have long been known to experience large fluctuations over length scales larger than Hubble distances. A similar situation arises in condensed matter physics in the vicinity of a critical point, and in this betterunderstood situation these large fluctuations indicate the failure in this regime of mean-field methods. We argue that for non-Goldstone scalars in de Sitter space, these fluctuations can also be interpreted as signaling the complete breakdown of the semi-classical methods widely used throughout cosmology. By power-counting the infrared properties of Feynman graphs in de Sitter space we find that for a massive scalar interacting through a λ φ4 interaction, control over the loop approximation is lost for masses smaller than m ≃ √ λ H/2π, where H is the Hubble scale. We briefly discuss some potential implications for inflationary cosmology.

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1475-7516/2010/10/017

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Published In

Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics, 2010.