Natural Inflation from Polymer Quantization
Published 2017-09-12Version 1
We study the polymer quantization of a homogeneous massive scalar field in the early universe using a prescription inequivalent to those previously appearing in the literature. Specifically, we assume a Hilbert space for which the scalar field momentum is well defined but its amplitude is not. We show that in the semi-classical approximation, the main effect of this polymer quantization scheme is to compactify the phase space of chaotic inflation in the field amplitude direction. This gives rise to an effective scalar potential closely resembling that of hybrid natural inflation. Unlike polymer schemes in which the scalar field amplitude is well-defined, the semi-classical dynamics involves a past cosmological singularity; i.e., this approach does not mitigate the big bang.