Quintessential cosmology: Novel models of cosmological structure formation

R. R. Caldwell, R. Dave, P. J. Steinhardt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


We examine the possibility that a substantial fraction of the total energy density in a spatially flat Universe is composed of a time-dependent and spatially inhomogeneous component whose equation-of-state differs from that of baryons, neutrinos, dark matter, or radiation. In this lecture, we report on our investigations of the case in which the additional energy component, dubbed "quintessence", is due to a dynamical scalar field evolving in a potential. We have computed the effects on the background cosmological evolution, the cosmic microwave background (CMB) and mass power spectrum, finding a broad range of cosmologically viable models. We stress three important features of the quintessence or Q-component: the time evolution of the equation-of-state; the length-scale dependence of the speed of propagation of the fluctuations in the Q-component; and, the contribution of quintessence fluctuations to the CMB anisotropy spectrum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)303-310
Number of pages8
JournalAstrophysics and Space Science
Issue number1-4
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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