We calculate the bispectrum of scale-invariant tensor modes sourced by spectator SU(2) gauge fields during inflation in a model containing a scalar inflaton, a pseudoscalar axion and SU(2) gauge fields. A large bispectrum is generated in this model at tree-level as the gauge fields contain a tensor degree of freedom, and its production is dominated by self-coupling of the gauge fields. This is a unique feature of non-Abelian gauge theory. The shape of the tensor bispectrum is approximately an equilateral shape for 3lesssim mQlesssim 4, where mQ is an effective dimensionless mass of the SU(2) field normalised by the Hubble expansion rate during inflation. The amplitude of non-Gaussianity of the tensor modes, characterised by the ratio Bh/P2h , is inversely proportional to the energy density fraction of the gauge field. This ratio can be much greater than unity, whereas the ratio from the vacuum fluctuation of the metric is of order unity. The bispectrum is effective at constraining large mQ regions of the parameter space, whereas the power spectrum constrains small mQ regions.
- CMBR polarization
- gravitational waves / sources
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Astronomy and Astrophysics