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Symmetries of Inflation

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During inflation, time translations are spontaneously broken by the time-dependent matter field. As a result, the conformal symmetries of de Sitter are spontaneously broken and curvature perturbations can be identified with the ``Goldstone boson’’ associated with this symmetry breaking. Taking this point of view, I will explain how the low-momentum physics of curvature perturbations are constrained by symmetries. I will focus the discussion on two aspects. First, I will show how symmetries force curvature perturbations to freeze on super-horizon scales at all orders in a loop expansion. I will then explain how soft limits of inflationary correlation functions can be derived in a model-independent way using Ward identities. In particular, this approach makes manifest how these soft limits are sensitive to the number of light particles during inflation.

This talk is part of the Cosmology lunch series.

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