Date of Original Version
© 2015 American Physical Society
Abstract or Description
Models such as Natural Inflation that use pseudo-Nambu-Goldstone bosons as the inflaton are attractive for many reasons. However, they typically require trans-Planckian field excursions ΔΦ > MPl, due to the need for an axion decay constant f>MPl to have both a sufficient number of e-folds and values of ns; r consistent with data. Such excursions would in general require the addition of all other higher dimension operators consistent with symmetries, thus disrupting the required flatness of the potential and rendering the theory nonpredictive. We show that in the case of Natural Inflation, the existence of spinodal instabilities (modes with tachyonic masses) can modify the inflaton equations of motion to the point that versions of the model with f
Physical Review Letters, 114, 171301.