On the reliability of inflaton potential reconstruction

Edmund J. Copeland, Ian J. Grivell, Edward W. Kolb, Andrew R. Liddle
1998 Physical Review D, Particles and fields  
If primordial scalar and tensor perturbation spectra can be inferred from observations of the cosmic background radiation and large-scale structure, then one might hope to reconstruct a unique single-field inflaton potential capable of generating the observed spectra. In this paper we examine conditions under which such a potential can be reliably reconstructed. For it to be possible at all, the spectra must be well fit by a Taylor series expansion. A complete reconstruction requires a
more » ... ally-significant tensor mode to be measured in the microwave background. We find that the observational uncertainties dominate the theoretical error from use of the slow-roll approximation, and conclude that the reconstruction procedure will never insidiously lead to an irrelevant potential.
doi:10.1103/physrevd.58.043002 fatcat:n2srw4w2a5e5ritkak2b2irbpi