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Inflation in non-minimal matter-curvature coupling theories

Authors: Cláudio Gomes, JG Rosa, Orfeu Bertolami

Ref.: JCAP 06, 021 (2017)

Abstract: We study inflationary scenarios driven by a scalar field in the presence of a non-minimal coupling between matter and curvature. We show that the Friedmann equation can be significantly modified when the energy density during inflation exceeds a critical value determined by the non-minimal coupling, which in turn may considerably modify the spectrum of primordial perturbations and the inflationary dynamics. In particular, we show that these models are characterised by a consistency relation between the tensor-to-scalar ratio and the tensor spectral index that can differ significantly from the predictions of general relativity. We also give examples of observational predictions for some of the most commonly considered potentials and use the results of the Planck collaboration to set limits on the scale of the non-minimal coupling.