Evolution to a smooth universe in an ekpyrotic contracting phase with w>1

David Garfinkle, Woei Chet Lim, Frans Pretorius, Paul Joseph Steinhardt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


A period of slow contraction with equation of state w>1, known as an ekpyrotic phase, has been shown to flatten and smooth the universe if it begins the phase with small perturbations. In this paper, we explore how robust and powerful the ekpyrotic smoothing mechanism is by beginning with highly inhomogeneous and anisotropic initial conditions and numerically solving for the subsequent evolution of the universe. Our studies, based on a universe with gravity plus a scalar field with a negative exponential potential, show that some regions become homogeneous and isotropic while others exhibit inhomogeneous and anisotropic behavior in which the scalar field behaves like a fluid with w=1. We find that the ekpyrotic smoothing mechanism is robust in the sense that the ratio of the proper volume of the smooth to nonsmooth region grows exponentially fast along time slices of constant mean curvature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number083537
JournalPhysical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Oct 27 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'Evolution to a smooth universe in an ekpyrotic contracting phase with w>1'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this