338 research outputs found

    Brane-world cosmological perturbations: a covariant approach

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    The standard cosmological model, based on general relativity with an inflationary era, is very effective in accounting for a broad range of observed features of the universe. However, the ongoing puzzles about the nature of dark matter and dark energy, together with the problem of a fundamental theoretical framework for inflation, indicate that cosmology may be probing the limits of validity of general relativity. The early universe provides a testing ground for theories of gravity, since gravitational dynamics can lead to characteristic imprints on the CMB and other cosmological observations. Precision cosmology is in principle a means to constrain and possibly falsify candidate quantum gravity theories like M theory. Generalized Randall-Sundrum brane-worlds provide a phenomenological means to test aspects of M theory. I outline the 1+3-covariant approach to cosmological perturbations in these brane-worlds, and its application to CMB anisotropies.Comment: Based on a talk at the Brane-world Gravity Workshop, Yukawa Institute, Jan 2002. 17 pages, 4 figure

    Brane-world gravity

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    The observable universe could be a 1+3-surface (the "brane") embedded in a 1+3+d-dimensional spacetime (the "bulk"), with standard-model particles and fields trapped on the brane while gravity is free to access the bulk. At least one of the d extra spatial dimensions could be very large relative to the Planck scale, which lowers the fundamental gravity scale, possibly even down to the electroweak (~ TeV) level. This revolutionary picture arises in the framework of recent developments in M theory. The 1+10-dimensional M theory encompasses the known 1+9-dimensional superstring theories, and is widely considered to be a promising potential route to quantum gravity. General relativity cannot describe gravity at high enough energies and must be replaced by a quantum gravity theory, picking up significant corrections as the fundamental energy scale is approached. At low energies, gravity is localized at the brane and general relativity is recovered, but at high energies gravity "leaks" into the bulk, behaving in a truly 1+3+d-dimensional way. This introduces significant changes to gravitational dynamics and perturbations, with interesting testable implications for high-energy astrophysics, black holes and cosmology. Brane-world models offer a phenomenological way to test some of the novel predictions and corrections to general relativity that are implied by M theory. This review discusses the geometry, dynamics and perturbations of simple brane-world models for cosmology and astrophysics, mainly focusing on warped 5-dimensional brane-worlds based on the Randall-Sundrum models.Comment: Corrections, improvements, new references; to appear in Living Reviews of Relativity; 58 pages, revtex4, 13 fig

    Is the Universe homogeneous?

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    The standard model of cosmology is based on the existence of homogeneous surfaces as the background arena for structure formation. Homogeneity underpins both general relativistic and modified gravity models and is central to the way in which we interpret observations of the CMB and the galaxy distribution. However, homogeneity cannot be directly observed in the galaxy distribution or CMB, even with perfect observations, since we observe on the past lightcone and not on spatial surfaces. We can directly observe and test for isotropy, but to link this to homogeneity, we need to assume the Copernican Principle. First, we discuss the link between isotropic observations on the past lightcone and isotropic spacetime geometry: what observations do we need to be isotropic in order to deduce spacetime isotropy? Second, we discuss what we can say with the Copernican assumption. The most powerful result is based on the CMB: the vanishing of the dipole, quadrupole and octupole of the CMB is sufficient to impose homogeneity. Real observations lead to near-isotropy on large scales - does this lead to near-homogeneity? There are important partial results, and we discuss why this remains a difficult open question. Thus we are currently unable to prove homogeneity of the Universe on large-scales, even with the Copernican Principle. However we can use observations of the CMB, galaxies and clusters to test homogeneity itself.Comment: Based on an invited talk at a Theo Murphy Meeting "Testing general relativity with cosmology". Minor corrections, references updated. To appear Phil. Trans. R. Soc.

    Geometry and dynamics of the brane-world

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    Recent developments in string theory have led to 5-dimensional warped spacetime models in which standard-model fields are confined to a 3-brane (the observed universe), while gravity can propagate in the fifth dimension. Gravity is localized near the brane at low energies, even if the extra dimension is noncompact. A review is given of the classical geometry and dynamics of these brane-world models. The field equations on the brane modify the general relativity equations in two ways: local 5-D effects are imprinted on the brane as a result of its embedding, and are significant at high energies; nonlocal effects arise from the 5-D Weyl tensor. The Weyl tensor transmits tidal (Coulomb), gravitomagnetic and gravitational wave effects to the brane from the 5-D nonlocal gravitational field. Local high-energy effects modify the dynamics of inflation, and increase the amplitude of scalar and tensor perturbations generated by inflation. Nonlocal effects introduce new features in cosmological perturbations. They induce a non-adiabatic mode in scalar perturbations and massive modes in vector and tensor perturbations, and they can support vector perturbations even in the absence of matter vorticity. In astrophysics, local and nonlocal effects introduce fundamental changes to gravitational collapse and black hole solutions.Comment: Minor corrections to Eqs. 14, 42, 64, and reference update

    Covariant velocity and density perturbations in quasi-Newtonian cosmologies

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    Recently a covariant approach to cold matter universes in the zero-shear hypersurfaces (or longitudinal) gauge has been developed. This approach reveals the existence of an integrability condition, which does not appear in standard non-covariant treatments. A simple derivation and generalization of the integrability condition is given, based on showing that the quasi-Newtonian models are a sub-class of the linearized `silent' models. The solution of the integrability condition implies a propagation equation for the acceleration. It is shown how the velocity and density perturbations are then obtained via this propagation equation. The density perturbations acquire a small relative-velocity correction on all scales, arising from the fully covariant general relativistic analysis.Comment: 11 pages Revtex; to appear Phys. Rev.

    Asymmetric brane-worlds with induced gravity

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    The Randall-Sundrum scenario, with a 1+3-dimensional brane in a 5-dimensional bulk spacetime, can be generalized in various ways. We consider the case where the Z2-symmetry at the brane is relaxed, and in addition the gravitational action is generalized to include an induced gravity term on the brane. We derive the complete set of equations governing the gravitational dynamics for a general brane and bulk, and identify how the asymmetry and the induced gravity act as effective source terms in the projected field equations on the brane. For a Friedmann brane in an anti de Sitter bulk, the solution of the Friedmann equation is given by the solution of a quartic equation. We find the perturbative solutions for small asymmetry, which has an effect at late times.Comment: references added; version to appear Phys Rev

    Cosmological perturbations in Horava-Lifshitz theory without detailed balance

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    In the Horava-Lifshitz theory of quantum gravity, two conditions -- detailed balance and projectability -- are usually assumed. The breaking of projectability simplifies the theory, but it leads to serious problems with the theory. The breaking of detailed balance leads to a more complicated form of the theory, but it appears to resolve some of the problems. Sotiriou, Visser and Weinfurtner formulated the most general theory of Horava-Lifshitz type without detailed balance. We compute the linear scalar perturbations of the FRW model in this form of HL theory. We show that the higher-order curvature terms in the action lead to a gravitational effective anisotropic stress on small scales. Specializing to a Minkowski background, we study the spin-0 scalar mode of the graviton, using a gauge-invariant analysis, and find that it is stable in both the infrared and ultraviolet regimes for 0≀Ο≀2/30 \le \xi \le 2/3. However, in this parameter range the scalar mode is a ghost.Comment: Some typos were corrected. Verison appeared in Phys. Rev. D81, 024009 (2010

    Inhomogeneity and the foundations of concordance cosmology

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    The apparent accelerating expansion of the Universe is forcing us to examine the foundational aspects of the standard model of cosmology -- in particular, the fact that dark energy is a direct consequence of the homogeneity assumption. We discuss the foundations of the assumption of spatial homogeneity, in the case when the Copernican Principle is adopted. We present results that show how (almost-) homogeneity follows from (almost-) isotropy of various observables. The analysis requires the fully nonlinear field equations -- i.e., it is not possible to use second- or higher-order perturbation theory, since one cannot assume a homogeneous and isotropic background. Then we consider what happens if the Copernican Principle is abandoned in our Hubble volume. The simplest models are inhomogeneous but spherically symmetric universes which do not require dark energy to fit the distance modulus. Key problems in these models are to compute the CMB anisotropies and the features of large-scale structure. We review how to construct perturbation theory on a non-homogeneous cosmological background, and discuss the complexities that arise in using this to determine the growth of large-scale structure.Comment: 26 pages and 1 figure. Invited review article for the CQG special issue on nonlinear cosmological perturbations. v2 has additional refs and comments, minor errors corrected, version in CQ

    Acoustic oscillations and viscosity

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    Using a simple thermo-hydrodynamic model that respects relativistic causality, we revisit the analysis of qualitative features of acoustic oscillations in the photon-baryon fluid. The growing photon mean free path introduces transient effects that can be modelled by the causal generalization of relativistic Navier-Stokes-Fourier theory. Causal thermodynamics provides a more satisfactory hydrodynamic approximation to kinetic theory than the quasi-stationary (and non-causal) approximations arising from standard thermodynamics or from expanding the photon distribution to first order in the Thomson scattering time. The causal approach introduces small corrections to the dispersion relation obtained in quasi-stationary treatments. A dissipative contribution to the speed of sound slightly increases the frequency of the oscillations. The diffusion damping scale is slightly increased by the causal corrections. Thus quasi-stationary approximations tend to over-estimate the spacing and under-estimate the damping of acoustic peaks. In our simple model, the fractional corrections at decoupling are ≳10−3\gtrsim 10^{-3}.Comment: Improved version with new quantitative estimates and some corrections. We show how quasi-stationary approximations based on expanding the photon distribution to first order in the Thomson time tend to under-estimate the frequency and damping of acoustic oscillation