Motivated by the possibility of inflation in the cosmic landscape, which may be approximated by a complicated potential, we study the density perturbations in multi-field inflation with a random potential. The random potential causes the inflaton to undergo a Brownian-like motion with a drift in the D-dimensional field space, allowing entropic perturbation modes to continuously and randomly feed into the adiabatic mode. To quantify such an effect, we employ a stochastic approach to evaluate the two-point and three-point functions of primordial perturbations. We find that in the weakly random scenario where the stochastic scatterings are frequent but mild, the resulting power spectrum resembles that of the single field slow-roll case, with up to 2% more red tilt. The strongly random scenario, in which the coarse-grained motion of the inflaton is significantly slowed down by the scatterings, leads to rich phenomenologies. The power spectrum exhibits primordial fluctuations on all angular scales. Such features may already be hiding in the error bars of observed CMB TT (as well as TE and EE) power spectrum and have been smoothed out by binning of data points. With more data coming in the future, we expect these features can be detected or falsified. On the other hand the tensor power spectrum itself is free of fluctuations and the tensor to scalar ratio is enhanced by the large ratio of the Brownian-like motion speed over the drift speed. In addition a large negative running of the power spectral index is possible. Non-Gaussianity is generically suppressed by the growth of adiabatic perturbations on super-horizon scales, and is negligible in the weakly random scenario. However, non-Gaussianity can possibly be enhanced by resonant effects in the strongly random scenario or arise from the entropic perturbations during the onset of (p)reheating if the background inflaton trajectory exhibits particular properties. The formalism developed in this paper can be applied to a wide class of multi-field inflation models including, e.g. the N-flation scenario.
Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics
- Pub Date:
- April 2009
- High Energy Physics - Theory;
- High Energy Physics - Phenomenology
- More clarifications and references added