[0804.3390] Effects of Prior Assumptions on Bayesian Estimates of Inflation Parameters, and the expected Gravitational Waves Signal from Inflation

Authors: Wessel Valkenburg, Lawrence M. Krauss, Jan Hamann

Date: 22 Apr 2008

Abstract: In this work we explore the effect of choosing flat priors on different parameterizations on the estimation of the tensor-to-scalar ratio and other parameters describing inflation. We show that a flat prior on the scale of inflation does not correspond to a flat prior on the tensor-to-scalar ratio, and that current data is not strong enough to render parameter estimation parameterization independent. Most importantly, we show that a flat prior on the scale of inflation raises the predicted tensor contribution, leading to a mild, yet non-zero 68 % c.l. lower bound on tensor perturbations from existing data. Which prior to choose remains for the moment a matter of taste. However this work provides more reason for optimism with respect to the possibility of future detection of primordial gravitational waves.

abs pdf

Apr 25, 2008

0804.3390 (/preprints)
2008-04-25, 09:19 [edit]


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