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The quantum origin of cosmic structure: theory and observations

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

???articleNumber???012010
Journal publication date2011
JournalJournal of Physics: Conference Series
Journal number1
Volume283
Number of pages22
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

The particle production process is reviewed, through which cosmic inflation can produce a scale invariant superhorizon spectrum of perturbations of suitable fields starting from their quantum fluctuations. Afterwards, in the context of the inflationary paradigm, a number of mechanisms (e.g. curvaton, inhomogeneous reheating etc.) through which such perturbations can source the curvature perturbation in the Universe and explain the formation of structures such as galaxies are briefly described. Finally, the possibility that cosmic vector fields also contribute to the curvature perturbation (e.g. through the vector curvaton mechanism) is considered and its distinct observational signatures are discussed, such as correlated statistical anisotropy in the spectrum and bispectrum of the curvature perturbation.