We re-examine the importance of slow-roll corrections during the evolution of cosmological perturbations in models of multi-field inflation. We find that in many instances the presence of light degrees of freedom leads to situations in which next to leading order slow-roll corrections become significant. Examples where we expect such corrections to be crucial include models in which modes exit the Hubble radius while the inflationary trajectory undergoes an abrupt turn in field space, or during a phase transition. We illustrate this with several examples - hybrid inflation, double quadratic inflation and double quartic inflation. Utilizing both analytic estimates and full numerical results, we find that corrections can be as large as 20%. Our results have implications for many existing models in the literature, as these corrections must be included to obtain accurate observational predictions - particularly given the level of accuracy expected from CMB experiments such as Planck.
- cosmological perturbation theory
- physics of the early universe
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Astronomy and Astrophysics