Scale-invariant perturbations in ekpyrotic cosmologies without fine-tuning of initial conditions

Aaron M. Levy, Anna Ijjas, Paul J. Steinhardt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Ekpyrotic bouncing cosmologies have been proposed as alternatives to inflation. In these scenarios, the Universe is smoothed and flattened during a period of slow contraction preceding the bounce while quantum fluctuations generate nearly scale-invariant superhorizon perturbations that seed structure in the post-bounce Universe. An analysis by Tolley and Wesley (2007) showed that, for a wide range of ekpyrotic models, generating a scale-invariant spectrum of adiabatic or entropic fluctuations is only possible if the cosmological background is unstable, in which case the scenario is highly sensitive to initial conditions. In this paper, we analyze an important counterexample: a simple action that generates a Gaussian, scale-invariant spectrum of entropic perturbations during ekpyrotic contraction without requiring fine-tuned initial conditions. Based on this example, we discuss some generalizations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number063524
JournalPhysical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 22 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


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