In the framework of effective field theories with prominent helicity-0 and helicity-1 fields coupled to each other via a dimension-3 operator, we study the dynamics of inflation driven by the helicity-0 mode, with a given potential energy, as well as the evolution of cosmological perturbations, influenced by the presence of a mixing term between both helicities. In this scenario, the temporal component of the helicity-1 mode is an auxiliary field and can be integrated out in terms of the time derivative of the helicity-0 mode, so that the background dynamics effectively reduces to that in single-field inflation modulated by a parameter β associated to the coupling between helicity-0 and helicity-1 modes. We discuss the evolution of a longitudinal scalar perturbation ψ and an inflaton fluctuation δφ, and we explicitly show that a particular combination of these two, which corresponds to an isocurvature mode, is subject to exponential suppression by the vector mass comparable to the Hubble expansion rate during inflation. Furthermore, we find that the effective single-field description corrected by β also holds for the power spectrum of curvature perturbations generated during inflation. We compute the standard inflationary observables such as the scalar spectral index ns and the tensor-to-scalar ratio r and confront several inflaton potentials with the recent observational data provided by Planck 2018. Our results show that the coupling between helicity-0 and helicity-1 modes can lead to a smaller value of the tensor-to-scalar ratio especially for small-field inflationary models, so our scenario exhibits even better compatibility with the current observational data.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)