Posted: Mar 17, 2014 6:35 pm
by Pulsar
hackenslash wrote:There could be a Nobel for Guth in this if the result is confirmed.

Probably not. While this result offers support for inflation, it's not a slam dunk. The existence of the inflaton field, let alone its properties, remains a hypothesis. In fact, the entire mechanism of inflation is based on a hybrid theoretical construction of quantum field theory and general relativity.
But it will be interesting to see which constraints these results can put on the countless versions of inflation that have been concocted. For example, there is some tension with indirect results from Planck, which hints at a non-constant scalar spectral index.