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Inflation provides a natural mechanism to account for the origin of cosmic structures. The generation of primordial inhomogeneities during inflation can be understood via the spontaneous creation of quanta from the vacuum. We show that when the corresponding stimulated creation of quanta is considered, the characteristics of the state of the universe at the onset of inflation are not diluted by the inflationary expansion and can be imprinted in the spectrum of primordial inhomogeneities. The non-gaussianities (particularly in the so-called squeezed configuration) in the cosmic microwave background and galaxy distribution can then tell us about the state of the universe that existed at the time when quantum field theory in curved spacetime first emerged as a plausible effective theory. © 2011 World Scientific Publishing Company.

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International Journal of Modern Physics D

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