Eternal hilltop inflation
Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics
We consider eternal inflation in hilltop-type inflation models, favored by current data, in which the scalar field in inflation rolls off of a local maximum of the potential. Unlike chaotic or plateau-type inflation models, in hilltop inflation the region of field space which supports eternal inflation is finite, and the expansion rate H_EI during eternal inflation is almost exactly the same as the expansion rate H_* during slow roll inflation. Therefore, in any given Hubble volume, there is a
... inite and calculable expectation value for the lifetime of the "eternal" inflation phase, during which quantum flucutations dominate over classical field evolution. We show that despite this, inflation in hilltop models is nonetheless eternal in the sense that the volume of the spacetime at any finite time is exponentially dominated by regions which continue to inflate. This is true regardless of the energy scale of inflation, and eternal inflation is supported for inflation at arbitrarily low energy scale.