The trace of the stress-energy tensor of the cosmological fluid, proportional to the Ricci scalar curvature in general relativity, is determined on cosmic scales for times ranging from the inflationary epoch to the present day in the expanding Universe. The post-inflationary epoch and the thermal history of the relativistic fluid, in particular the QCD transition from asymptotic freedom to confinement and the electroweak phase transition, leave significant imprints on the scalar curvature. These imprints can be of either sign and are orders of magnitude larger than the values that would be obtained by naively extrapolating the pressureless matter of the present epoch back into the radiation-dominated epoch.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology|
|State||Published - Mar 22 2013|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)