Abstract:
One method to reconstruct the scalar field potential of inflation is a perturbative approach, where the values of the potential and its derivatives are calculated as an expansion in departures from the slow-roll approximation. They can then be expressed in terms of observable quantities, such as the square of the ratio of the gravitational wave amplitude to the density perturbation amplitude, the deviation of the spectral index from the Harrison--Zel'dovich value, etc. Here, we calculate complete expressions for the second-order contributions to the coefficients of the expansion by including for the first time corrections to the standard expressions for the perturbation spectra. As well as offering an improved result, these corrections indicate the expected accuracy of the reconstruction. Typically the corrections are only a few percent.

Abstract:
The inflationary potential and its derivatives determine the spectrum of scalar and tensor metric perturbations that arise from quantum fluctuations during inflation. The CBR anisotropy offers a promising means of determining the spectra of metric perturbations and thereby a means of constraining the inflationary potential. The relation between the metric perturbations and CBR anisotropy depends upon cosmological parameters -- most notably the possibility of a cosmological constant. Motivated by some observational evidence for a cosmological constant (large-scale structure, cluster-baryon fraction, measurements of the Hubble constant and age of the Universe) we derive the reconstruction equations and consistency relation to second order in the presence of a cosmological constant. We also clarify previous notation and discuss alternative schemes for reconstruction.

Abstract:
We present Monte Carlo reconstruction, a new method for ``inverting'' observational data to constrain the form of the scalar field potential responsible for inflation. This stochastic technique is based on the flow equation formalism and has distinct advantages over reconstruction methods based on a Taylor expansion of the potential. The primary ansatz required for Monte Carlo reconstruction is simply that inflation is driven by a single scalar field. We also require a very mild slow roll constraint, which can be made arbitrarily weak since Monte Carlo reconstruction is implemented at arbitrary order in the slow roll expansion. While our method cannot evade fundamental limits on the accuracy of reconstruction, it can be simply and consistently applied to poor data sets, and it takes advantage of the attractor properties of single-field inflation models to constrain the potential outside the small region directly probed by observations. We show examples of Monte Carlo reconstruction for data sets similar to that expected from the Planck satellite, and for a hypothetical measurement with a factor of five better parameter discrimination than Planck.

Abstract:
Within the class of inflationary models, k-inflation represents the most general single field framework that can be associated with an effective quadratic action for the curvature perturbations and a varying speed of sound. The incoming flow of high-precision cosmological data, such as those from the Planck satellite and small scale Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) experiments, calls for greater accuracy in the inflationary predictions. In this work, we calculate for the first time the next-to-next-to-leading order scalar and tensor primordial power spectra in k-inflation needed in order to obtain robust constraints on the inflationary theory. The method used is the uniform approximation together with a second order expansion in the Hubble and sound flow functions. Our result is checked in various limits in which it reduces to already known situations.

Abstract:
We present a method for the study of second-order superhorizon perturbations in multi field inflationary models with non trivial kinetic terms. We utilise a change of coordinates in field space to separate isocurvature and adiabatic perturbations generalizing previous results. We also construct second order gauge invariant variables related to them. It is found that with an arbitrary metric in field space the isocurvature perturbation sources the gravitational potential on long wavelengths even for ``straight'' trajectories. The potential decouples from the isocurvature perturbations if the background fields' trajectory is a geodesic in field space. Taking nonlinear effects into account shows that, in general, the two types of perturbations couple to each other. This is an outline of a possible procedure to study nonlinear and non-Gaussian effects during multifield inflation.

Abstract:
In this paper, we present quantitative constraints on the scalar field potential for a general class of inflationary models. (1) We first consider the reconstruction of the inflationary potential for given primordial density fluctuation spectra. Our work differs from previous work on reconstruction in that we find a semi-analytic solution for the potential for the case of density fluctuations with power-law spectra. In addition, for the case of more general spectra, we show how constraints on the density fluctuation spectra imply corresponding constraints on the potential. We present a series of figures which show how the shape of the potential depends on the shape of the perturbation spectrum and on the relative contribution of tensor modes. (2) We show that the average ratio $\rave$ of the amplitude of tensor perturbations (gravity wave perturbations) to scalar density perturbations is bounded from above: $\rave \le$ 1.6. We also show that the ratio $\rave$ is proportional to the change $\Delta \phi$ in the field: $\rave \approx 0.42 \Delta \phi/\mp$. Thus, if tensor perturbations are important for the formation of structure, then the width $\Delta \phi$ must be comparable to the Planck mass. (3) We constrain the change $\Delta V$ of the potential and the change $\Delta \phi$ of the inflation field during the portion of inflation when cosmological structure is produced. We find both upper and lower bounds for $\Delta \phi$ and for $\Delta V$. In addition, these constraints are then used to derive a bound on the scale $\Lambda$, which is the scale of the height of the potential

Abstract:
Inflationary cosmology is the leading explanation of the very early universe. Many different models of inflation have been constructed which fit current observational data. In this work theoretical and numerical methods for constraining the parameter space of a wide class of such models are described. First, string-theoretic models with large non-Gaussian signatures are investigated. An upper bound is placed on the amplitude of primordial gravitational waves produced by ultra-violet Dirac-Born-Infeld inflation. In all but the most finely tuned cases, this bound is incompatible with a lower bound derived for inflationary models which exhibit a red spectrum and detectable non-Gaussianity. By analysing general non-canonical actions, a class of models is found which can evade the upper bound when the phase speed of perturbations is small. The multi-coincident brane scenario with a finite number of branes is one such model. For models with a potentially observable gravitational wave spectrum the number of coincident branes is shown to take only small values. The second method of constraining inflationary models is the numerical calculation of second order perturbations for a general class of single field models. The Klein-Gordon equation at second order, written in terms of scalar field variations only, is numerically solved. The slow roll version of the second order source term is used and the method is shown to be extendable to the full equation. This procedure allows the evolution of second order perturbations in general and the calculation of the non-Gaussianity parameter in cases where there is no analytical solution available.

Abstract:
We make a more general determination of the inflationary observables in the standard 4-D and 5-D single-field inflationary scenarios, by the exact reconstruction of the dynamics of the inflation potential during the observable inflation with minimal number of assumptions: the computation does not assume the slow-roll approximation and is valid in all regimes if the field is monotonically rolling down its potential. Making use of the {\em Hamilton-Jacobi} formalism developed for the 5-D single-field inflation model,we compute the scale dependence of the amplitudes of the scalarand tensor perturbations by integrating the exact mode equation. We analyze the implications of the theoretical uncertainty in the determination of the reheating temperature after inflation on the observable predictions of inflation and evaluate its impact on the degeneracy of the standard inflation consistency relation.

Abstract:
In this paper we study the problem of divergence-free numerical MHD and show that the work done so far still has four key unresolved issues. We resolve those issues in this paper. The problem of reconstructing MHD flow variables with spatially second order accuracy is also studied. The other goal of this paper is to show that the same well-designed second order accurate schemes can be formulated for more complex geometries such as cylindrical and spherical geometry. Being able to do divergence-free reconstruction in those geometries also resolves the problem of doing AMR in those geometries. The resulting MHD scheme has been implemented in Balsara's RIEMANN framework for parallel, self-adaptive computational astrophysics. The present work also shows that divergence-free reconstruction and the divergence-free time-update can be done for numerical MHD on unstructured meshes. All the schemes designed here are shown to be second order accurate. Several stringent test problems are presented to show that the methods work, including problems involving high velocity flows in low plasma-b magnetospheric environments.

Abstract:
We consider the Feynman-Kac functional associated with a Brownian motion in a random potential. The potential is defined by attaching a heavy tailed positive potential around the Poisson point process. This model was first considered by Pastur (1977) and the first order term of the moment asymptotics was determined. In this paper, both moment and almost sure asymptotics are determined up to the second order. As an application, we also derive the second order asymptotics of the integrated density of states of the corresponding random Schr\"odinger operator.