We examine the conditions under which a perturbative expansion around an inflating background is valid. When inflation is driven by a single field with a general sound speed, we find a lower limit on the sound speed related to the amplitude of the inflationary power spectrum. Generalizing the sound speed constraints to include scale dependence can limit the number of e-folds obtained in the perturbative regime and restrict otherwise apparently viable models. We also show that, for models with a low sound speed, eternal inflation cannot occur in the perturbative regime.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics