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Inflationary cosmology has proven to be the most successful at predicting the properties of the anisotropies observed in the cosmic microwave background (CMB). In this essay we show that quantum field renormalization significantly influences the generation of primordial perturbations and hence the expected measurable imprint of cosmological inflation on the CMB. However, the new predictions remain in agreement with observation, and in fact favor the simplest forms of inflation. In the near future, observations of the influence of gravitational waves from the early universe on the CMB will test our new predictions. © 2009 World Scientific Publishing Company.

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International Journal of Modern Physics D

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