results for au:Khoury_J in:hep-th

- We introduce a novel method to circumvent Weinberg's no-go theorem for self-tuning the cosmological vacuum energy: a Lorentz-violating finite-temperature superfluid can counter the effects of an arbitrarily large cosmological constant. Fluctuations of the superfluid result in the graviton acquiring a Lorentz-violating mass and we identify a unique class of theories that are pathology free, phenomenologically viable, and do not suffer from instantaneous modes. This new and hitherto unidentified phase of massive gravity propagates the same degrees of freedom as general relativity with an additional Lorentz-violating scalar that is introduced by higher-derivative operators in a UV insensitive manner. The superfluid is therefore a consistent infrared modification of gravity. We demonstrate how the superfluid can degravitate a cosmological constant and discuss its phenomenology.
- Cosmic acceleration is widely believed to require either a source of negative pressure (i.e., dark energy), or a modification of gravity, which necessarily implies new degrees of freedom beyond those of Einstein gravity. In this paper we present a third possibility, using only dark matter and ordinary matter. The mechanism relies on the coupling between dark matter and ordinary matter through an effective metric. Dark matter couples to an Einstein-frame metric, and experiences a matter-dominated, decelerating cosmology up to the present time. Ordinary matter couples to an effective metric that depends also on the DM density, in such a way that it experiences late-time acceleration. Linear density perturbations are stable and propagate with arbitrarily small sound speed, at least in the case of `pressure' coupling. Assuming a simple parametrization of the effective metric, we show that our model can successfully match a set of basic cosmological observables, including luminosity distance, BAO measurements, angular-diameter distance to last scattering \it etc. For the growth history of density perturbations, we find an intriguing connection between the growth factor and the Hubble constant. To get a growth history similar to the $\Lambda$CDM prediction, our model predicts a higher $H_0$, closer to the value preferred by direct estimates. On the flip side, we tend to overpredict the growth of structures whenever $H_0$ is comparable to the Planck preferred value. The model also tends to predict larger redshift-space distortions at low redshift than $\Lambda$CDM.
- We investigate the symmetry structure of inflation in 2+1 dimensions. In particular, we show that the asymptotic symmetries of three-dimensional de Sitter space are in one-to-one correspondence with cosmological adiabatic modes for the curvature perturbation. In 2+1 dimensions, the asymptotic symmetry algebra is infinite-dimensional, given by two copies of the Virasoro algebra, and can be traced to the conformal symmetries of the two-dimensional spatial slices of de Sitter. We study the consequences of this infinite-dimensional symmetry for inflationary correlation functions, finding new soft theorems that hold only in 2+1 dimensions. Expanding the correlation functions as a power series in the soft momentum $q$, these relations constrain the traceless part of the tensorial coefficient at each order in $q$ in terms of a lower-point function. As a check, we verify that the ${\cal O}(q^2)$ identity is satisfied by inflationary correlation functions in the limit of small sound speed.
- In recent work we proposed a novel theory of dark matter (DM) superfluidity that matches the successes of the LambdaCDM model on cosmological scales while simultaneously reproducing MOdified Newtonian Dynamics (MOND) phenomenology on galactic scales. The agents responsible for mediating the MONDian force law are superfluid phonons that couple to ordinary (baryonic) matter. In this paper we propose an alternative way for the MOND phenomenon to emerge from DM superfluidity. The central idea is to use higher-gradient corrections in the superfluid effective theory. These next-to-leading order terms involve gradients of the gravitational potential, and therefore effectively modify the gravitational force law. In the process we discover a novel mechanism for generating the non-relativistic MOND action, starting from a theory that is fully analytic in all field variables. The idea, inspired by the symmetron mechanism, uses the spontaneous breaking of a discrete symmetry. For large acceleration, the symmetry is unbroken and the action reduces to Einstein gravity. For small acceleration, the symmetry is spontaneously broken and the action reduces to MONDian gravity. Cosmologically, however, the universe is always in the Einstein-gravity, symmetry-restoring phase. The expansion history and linear growth of density perturbations are therefore indistinguishable from LambdaCDM cosmology.
- In this talk we present a novel framework that unifies the stunning success of MOND on galactic scales with the triumph of the LambdaCDM model on cosmological scales. This is achieved through the rich and well-studied physics of superfluidity. The dark matter and MOND components have a common origin, representing different phases of a single underlying substance. In galaxies, dark matter thermalizes and condenses to form a superfluid phase. The superfluid phonons couple to baryonic matter particles and mediate a MOND-like force. Our framework naturally distinguishes between galaxies (where MOND is successful) and galaxy clusters (where MOND is not): dark matter has a higher temperature in clusters, and hence is in a mixture of superfluid and normal phase. The rich and well-studied physics of superfluidity leads to a number of striking observational signatures, which we briefly discuss. Remarkably the critical temperature and equation of state of the dark matter superfluid are similar to those of known cold atom systems. Identifying a precise cold atom analogue would give important insights on the microphysical interactions underlying DM superfluidity. Tantalizingly, it might open the possibility of simulating the properties and dynamics of galaxies in laboratory experiments.
- We propose a novel theory of dark matter (DM) superfluidity that matches the successes of the LambdaCDM model on cosmological scales while simultaneously reproducing the MOdified Newtonian Dynamics (MOND) phenomenology on galactic scales. The DM and MOND components have a common origin, representing different phases of a single underlying substance. DM consists of axion-like particles with mass of order eV and strong self-interactions. The condensate has a polytropic equation of state P~rho^3 giving rise to a superfluid core within galaxies. Instead of behaving as individual collisionless particles, the DM superfluid is more aptly described as collective excitations. Superfluid phonons, in particular, are assumed to be governed by a MOND-like effective action and mediate a MONDian acceleration between baryonic matter particles. Our framework naturally distinguishes between galaxies (where MOND is successful) and galaxy clusters (where MOND is not): due to the higher velocity dispersion in clusters, and correspondingly higher temperature, the DM in clusters is either in a mixture of superfluid and normal phase, or fully in the normal phase. The rich and well-studied physics of superfluidity leads to a number of observational signatures: array of low-density vortices in galaxies, merger dynamics that depend on the infall velocity vs phonon sound speed; distinct mass peaks in bullet-like cluster mergers, corresponding to superfluid and normal components; interference patters in super-critical mergers. Remarkably, the superfluid phonon effective theory is strikingly similar to that of the unitary Fermi gas, which has attracted much excitement in the cold atom community in recent years. The critical temperature for DM superfluidity is of order mK, comparable to known cold atom Bose-Einstein condensates.
- We propose a unified framework that reconciles the stunning success of MOND on galactic scales with the triumph of the LambdaCDM model on cosmological scales. This is achieved through the physics of superfluidity. Dark matter consists of self-interacting axion-like particles that thermalize and condense to form a superfluid in galaxies, with ~mK critical temperature. The superfluid phonons mediate a MOND acceleration on baryonic matter. Our framework naturally distinguishes between galaxies (where MOND is successful) and galaxy clusters (where MOND is not): dark matter has a higher temperature in clusters, and hence is in a mixture of superfluid and normal phase. The rich and well-studied physics of superfluidity leads to a number of striking observational signatures.
- The cosmology of brane induced gravity in six infinite dimensions is investigated. It is shown that a brane with Friedmann-Robertson-Walker symmetries necessarily acts as a source of cylindrically symmetric gravitational waves, so called Einstein-Rosen waves. Their existence essentially distinguishes this model from its codimension-one counterpart and necessitates solving the nonlinear system of bulk and brane-matching equations. A numerical analysis is performed and two qualitatively different and dynamically separated classes of cosmologies are derived: degravitating solutions for which the Hubble parameter settles to zero despite the presence of a non-vanishing energy density on the brane and super-accelerating solutions for which Hubble grows unbounded. The parameter space of both the stable and unstable regime is derived and observational consequences are discussed: It is argued that the degravitating regime does not allow for a phenomenologically viable cosmology. On the other hand, the super-accelerating solutions are potentially viable, however, their unstable behavior questions their physical relevance.
- Sep 24 2014 hep-th astro-ph.CO arXiv:1409.6318v2We derive novel identities satisfied by inflationary correlation functions in the limit where two external momenta are taken to be small. We derive these statements in two ways: using background-wave arguments and as Ward identities following from the fixed-time path integral. Interestingly, these identities allow us to constrain some of the O(q^2) components of the soft limit, in contrast to their single-soft analogues. We provide several nontrivial checks of our identities both in the context of resonant non-Gaussianities and in small sound speed models. Additionally, we extend the relation at lowest order in external momenta to arbitrarily many soft legs, and comment on the many-soft extension at higher orders in the soft momentum. Finally, we consider how higher soft limits lead to identities satisfied by correlation functions in large-scale structure.
- We propose an alternative to particle dark matter that borrows ingredients of MOdified Newtonian Dynamics (MOND) while adding new key components. The first new feature is a dark matter fluid, in the form of a scalar field with small equation of state and sound speed. This component is critical in reproducing the success of cold dark matter for the expansion history and the growth of linear perturbations, but does not cluster significantly on non-linear scales. Instead, the missing mass problem on non-linear scales is addressed by a modification of the gravitational force law. The force law approximates MOND at large and intermediate accelerations, and therefore reproduces the empirical success of MOND at fitting galactic rotation curves. At ultra-low accelerations, the force law reverts to an inverse-square-law, albeit with a larger Newton's constant. This latter regime is important in galaxy clusters and is consistent with their observed isothermal profiles, provided the characteristic acceleration scale of MOND is mildly varying with scale or mass, such that it is ~12 times higher in clusters than in galaxies. We present an explicit relativistic theory in terms of two scalar fields. The first scalar field is governed by a Dirac-Born-Infeld action and behaves as a dark matter fluid on large scales. The second scalar field also has single-derivative interactions and mediates a fifth force that modifies gravity on non-linear scales. Both scalars are coupled to matter via an effective metric that depends locally on the fields. The form of this effective metric implies the equality of the two scalar gravitational potentials, which ensures that lensing and dynamical mass estimates agree. Further work is needed in order to make both the acceleration scale of MOND and the fraction at which gravity reverts to an inverse-square law explicitly dynamical quantities, varying with scale or mass.
- After a decade and a half of research motivated by the accelerating universe, theory and experiment have a reached a certain level of maturity. The development of theoretical models beyond \Lambda, or smooth dark energy, often called modified gravity, has led to broader insights into a path forward, and a host of observational and experimental tests have been developed. In this review we present the current state of the field and describe a framework for anticipating developments in the next decade. We identify the guiding principles for rigorous and consistent modifications of the standard model, and discuss the prospects for empirical tests. We begin by reviewing attempts to consistently modify Einstein gravity in the infrared, focusing on the notion that additional degrees of freedom introduced by the modification must screen themselves from local tests of gravity. We categorize screening mechanisms into three broad classes: mechanisms which become active in regions of high Newtonian potential, those in which first derivatives become important, and those for which second derivatives are important. Examples of the first class, such as f(R) gravity, employ the familiar chameleon or symmetron mechanisms, whereas examples of the last class are galileon and massive gravity theories, employing the Vainshtein mechanism. In each case, we describe the theories as effective theories. We describe experimental tests, summarizing laboratory and solar system tests and describing in some detail astrophysical and cosmological tests. We discuss future tests which will be sensitive to different signatures of new physics in the gravitational sector. Parts that are more relevant to theorists vs. observers/experimentalists are clearly indicated, in the hope that this will serve as a useful reference for both audiences, as well as helping those interested in bridging the gap between them.
- We study the effect of the initial state on the consistency conditions for adiabatic perturbations. In order to be consistent with the constraints of General Relativity, the initial state must be diffeomorphism invariant. As a result, we show that initial wavefunctional/density matrix has to satisfy a Slavnov-Taylor identity similar to that of the action. We then investigate the precise ways in which modified initial states can lead to violations of the consistency relations. We find two independent sources of violations: i) the state can include initial non-Gaussianities; ii) even if the initial state is Gaussian, such as a Bogoliubov state, the modified 2-point function can modify the q->0 analyticity properties of the vertex functional and result in violations of the consistency relations.
- We describe a positive energy theorem for Einstein gravity coupled to scalar fields with first-derivative interactions, so-called P(X,phi) theories. We offer two independent derivations of this result. The first method introduces an auxiliary field to map the theory to a lagrangian describing two canonical scalar fields, where one can apply a positive energy result of Boucher and Townsend. The second method works directly at the P(X,phi) level and uses spinorial arguments introduced by Witten. The latter approach follows that of arXiv:1310.1663, but the end result is less restrictive. We point to the technical step where our derivation deviates from theirs. One of the more interesting implications of our analysis is to show it is possible to have positive energy in cases where dispersion relations following from locality and S-Matrix analyticity are violated.
- Traditional derivations of general relativity from the graviton degrees of freedom assume space-time Lorentz covariance as an axiom. In this essay, we survey recent evidence that general relativity is the unique spatially-covariant effective field theory of the transverse, traceless graviton degrees of freedom. The Lorentz covariance of general relativity, having not been assumed in our analysis, is thus plausibly interpreted as an accidental or emergent symmetry of the gravitational sector. From this point of view, Lorentz covariance is a necessary feature of low-energy graviton dynamics, not a property of space-time. This result has revolutionary implications for fundamental physics.
- Mar 26 2014 hep-th astro-ph.CO arXiv:1403.6120v2We study a new screening mechanism which is present in Dirac-Born-Infeld (DBI)-like theories. A scalar field with a DBI-like Lagrangian is minimally coupled to matter. In the vicinity of sufficiently dense sources, non-linearities in the scalar dominate and result in an approximately constant acceleration on a test particle, thereby suppressing the scalar force relative to gravity. Unlike generic P(X) theories, screening happens within the regime of validity of the effective field theory, thanks to the DBI symmetry. This symmetry also allows the removal of a constant field gradient, like in galileons. Not surprisingly, perturbations around the spherically-symmetry background propagate superluminally, but we argue for a chronology protection analogous to galileons. We derive constraints on the theory parameters from tests of gravity and discuss various extensions.
- Single-field perturbations satisfy an infinite number of consistency relations constraining the squeezed limit of correlation functions at each order in the soft momentum. These can be understood as Ward identities for an infinite set of residual global symmetries, or equivalently as Slavnov-Taylor identities for spatial diffeomorphisms. In this paper, we perform a number of novel, non-trivial checks of the identities in the context of slow-roll single field inflationary models with arbitrary sound speed. We focus for concreteness on identities involving 3-point functions with a soft external mode, and consider all possible scalar and tensor combinations for the hard-momentum modes. In all these cases, we check the consistency relations up to and including cubic order in the soft momentum. For this purpose, we compute for the first time the 3-point functions involving 2 scalars and 1 tensor, as well as 2 tensors and 1 scalar, for arbitrary sound speed.
- In these Lectures, I review various extensions of the Lambda-Cold Dark Matter model, characterized by additional light degrees of freedom in the dark sector. In order to reproduce the successful phenomenology of GR in the solar system, these fields must effectively decouple from matter on solar system/laboratory scales. This is achieved through screening mechanisms, which rely on the interplay between self-interactions and coupling to matter to suppress deviations from standard gravity. The manifestation of the new degrees of freedom depends sensitively on their environment, which in turn leads to striking experimental signatures.
- We construct a theory which admits a time-dependent solution smoothly interpolating between a null energy condition (NEC)-satisfying phase at early times and a NEC-violating phase at late times. We first review earlier attempts to violate the NEC and an argument of Rubakov, presented in 1305.2614, which forbids the existence of such interpolating solutions in a single-field dilation-invariant theory. We then construct a theory which, in addition to possessing a Poincaré-invariant vacuum, does admit such a solution. For a wide range of parameters, perturbations around this solution are at all times stable, comfortably subluminal and weakly-coupled. The theory requires us to explicitly break dilation-invariance, so it is unlikely that the theory is fully stable under quantum corrections, but we argue that the existence of a healthy interpolating solution is quantum-mechanically robust.
- Correlation functions of adiabatic modes in cosmology are constrained by an infinite number of consistency relations, which relate N+1-point correlation functions with a soft-momentum scalar or tensor mode to a symmetry transformation on N-point correlation functions of hard-momentum modes. They constrain, at each order n, the q^n behavior of the soft limits. In this paper we show that all consistency relations derive from a single, master identity, which follows from the Slavnov-Taylor identity for spatial diffeomorphisms. This master identity is valid at any value of q and therefore goes beyond the soft limit. By differentiating it n times with respect to the soft momentum, we recover the consistency relations at each q order. Our approach underscores the role of spatial diffeomorphism invariance at the root of cosmological consistency relations. It also offers new insights on the necessary conditions for their validity: a physical contribution to the vertex functional must satisfy certain analyticity properties in the soft limit in order for the consistency relations to hold. For standard inflationary models, this is equivalent to requiring that mode functions have constant growing-mode solutions. For more exotic models in which modes do not "freeze" in the usual sense, the analyticity requirement offers an unambiguous criterion.
- We provide evidence that general relativity is the unique spatially covariant effective field theory of the transverse, traceless graviton degrees of freedom. The Lorentz covariance of general relativity, having not been assumed in our analysis, is thus plausibly interpreted as an accidental or emergent symmetry of the gravitational sector.
- We show that the correlation functions of any single-field cosmological model with constant growing-modes are constrained by an infinite number of novel consistency relations, which relate (N+1)-point correlation functions with a soft-momentum scalar or tensor mode to a symmetry transformation on N-point correlation functions of hard-momentum modes. We derive these consistency relations from Ward identities for an infinite tower of non-linearly realized global symmetries governing scalar and tensor perturbations. These symmetries can be labeled by an integer n. At each order n, the consistency relations constrain - completely for n=0,1, and partially for n>= 2 - the q^n behavior of the soft limits. The identities at n=0 recover Maldacena's original consistency relations for a soft scalar and tensor mode, n=1 gives the recently-discovered conformal consistency relations, and the identities for n>= 2 are new. As a check, we verify directly that the n=2 identity is satisfied by known correlation functions in slow-roll inflation.
- Jan 30 2013 hep-th astro-ph.CO arXiv:1301.6756v1We attempt to incorporate inflation into a string theory realization of the chameleon mechanism. Previously, it was found that the volume modulus, stabilized by the supersymmetric potential used by Kachru, Kallosh, Linde and Trivedi (KKLT) and with the right choice of parameters, can generically work as a chameleon. In this paper, we ask whether inflation can be realized in the same model. We find that we need a large extra dimensions set-up, as well as a semi-phenomenological deformation of the Kahler potential in the quantum region. We also find that an additional KKLT term is required so that there are now two pieces to the potential, one which drives inflation in the early universe, and one which is responsible for chameleon screening at late times. These two pieces of the potential are separated by a large flat desert in field space. The scalar field must dynamically traverse this desert between the end of inflation and today, and we find that this can indeed occur under the right conditions.
- We show that the DBI conformal galileons, derived from the world-volume theory of a 3-brane moving in an AdS bulk, admit a background, stable under quantum corrections, which violates the Null Energy Condition (NEC). The perturbations around this background are stable and propagate subluminally. Unlike other known examples of NEC violation, such as ghost condensation and conformal galileons, this theory also admits a stable, Poincare-invariant vacuum, with a Lorentz-invariant S-matrix satisfying standard analyticity conditions. Like conformal galileons, perturbations around deformations of the Poincare invariant vacuum propagate superluminally.
- Dec 15 2012 hep-th astro-ph.CO arXiv:1212.3329v2We systematically derive the consistency relations associated to the non-linearly realized symmetries of theories with spontaneously broken conformal symmetry but with a linearly-realized de Sitter subalgebra. These identities relate (N+1)-point correlation functions with a soft external Goldstone to N-point functions. These relations have direct implications for the recently proposed conformal mechanism for generating density perturbations in the early universe. We study the observational consequences, in particular a novel one-loop contribution to the four-point function, relevant for the stochastic scale-dependent bias and CMB mu-distortion.
- Sep 26 2012 hep-th astro-ph.CO arXiv:1209.5742v1The pseudo-conformal universe is an alternative to inflation in which the early universe is described by a conformal field theory on approximately flat space-time. The fields develop time-dependent expectation values, spontaneously breaking the conformal symmetries to a de Sitter subalgebra, and fields of conformal weight zero acquire a scale invariant spectrum of perturbations. In this paper, we show that the pseudo-conformal scenario can be naturally realized within theories that would ordinarily be of interest for DBI inflation, such as the world-volume theory of a probe brane in an AdS bulk space-time. In this approach, the weight zero spectator field can be associated with a geometric flat direction in the bulk, and its scale invariance is protected by a shift symmetry.
- We put forward an improved version of the Galilean Genesis model that addresses the problem of superluminality. We demote the full conformal group to Poincare symmetry plus dilations, supplemented with approximate galilean shift invariance in the UV and at small field values. In this way fluctuations around the NEC-violating cosmological background are made substantially subluminal, and superluminality cannot be reached by any small change of the solution, in contrast with the original model. Dilation invariance still protects the scale-invariance of correlation functions of a massless test scalar - which is the source of the observed cosmological fluctuations - but the explicit breaking of the conformal group can be potentially observed in higher-order correlators. We also highlight a subtlety in matching the NEC-violating phase with the standard cosmological evolution, and discuss the possible couplings of the Galileon to gravity.
- Coupling the galileons to a curved background has been a tradeoff between maintaining second order equations of motion, maintaining the galilean shift symmetries, and allowing the background metric to be dynamical. We propose a construction which can achieve all three for a novel class of galilean invariant models, by coupling a scalar with the galilean symmetry to a massive graviton. This generalizes the brane construction for galileons, by adding to the brane a dynamical metric, (non-universally) interacting with the galileon field. Alternatively, it can be thought of as an extension of the ghost-free massive gravity, or as a massive graviton-galileon scalar-tensor theory. In the decoupling limit of these theories, new kinds of galileon invariant interactions arise between the scalar and the longitudinal mode of the graviton. These have higher order equations of motion and infinite powers of the field, yet are ghost-free.
- The chameleon, or generalizations thereof, is a light scalar that couple to matter with gravitational strength, but whose manifestation depends on the ambient matter density. A key feature is that the screening mechanism suppressing its effects in high-density environments is determined by the local scalar field value. Under very general conditions, we prove two theorems limiting its cosmological impact: i) the Compton wavelength of such a scalar can be at most Mpc at present cosmic density, which restricts its impact to non-linear scales; ii) the conformal factor relating Einstein- and Jordan-frame scale factors is essentially constant over the last Hubble time, which precludes the possibility of self-acceleration. These results imply that chameleon-like scalar fields have a negligible effect on the linear-scale growth history; theories that invoke a chameleon-like scalar to explain cosmic acceleration rely on a form of dark energy rather than a genuine modified gravity effect. Our analysis applies to a broad class of chameleon, symmetron and dilaton theories.
- Chameleon scalar fields are dark energy candidates which suppress fifth forces in high density regions of the universe by becoming massive. We consider chameleon models as effective field theories and estimate quantum corrections to their potentials. Requiring that quantum corrections be small, so as to allow reliable predictions of fifth forces, leads to an upper bound $m < 0.0073 (\rho / 10 {\rm g\, cm}^{-3})^{1/3}$eV for gravitational strength coupling whereas fifth force experiments place a lower bound of $m>0.0042$\u2009eV. An improvement of less than a factor of two in the range of fifth force experiments could test all classical chameleon field theories whose quantum corrections are well-controlled and couple to matter with nearly gravitational strength regardless of the specific form of the chameleon potential.
- Mar 29 2012 hep-th astro-ph.CO arXiv:1203.6351v1We remark on the existence of non-linearly realized conformal symmetries for scalar adiabatic perturbations in cosmology. These conformal symmetries are present for any cosmological background, beyond any slow-roll or quasi-de Sitter approximation. The dilatation transformation shifts the curvature perturbation by a constant, and corresponds to the well-known symmetry under spatial rescaling. We argue that the scalar sector is also invariant under special conformal transformations, which shift the curvature perturbation by a term linear in the spatial coordinates. We discuss whether these conformal symmetries can be extended to include tensor perturbations. Tensor modes introduce their own set of non-linearly realized symmetries. We identify an infinite set of large gauge transformations which maintain the transverse, traceless gauge condition, while shifting the tensor mode non-trivially.
- Mar 21 2012 hep-th arXiv:1203.4562v2A formalism is presented for computing the higher-order corrections to the worldvolume action of co-dimension one solitons. By modifying its potential, an explicit "kink" solution of a real scalar field in AdS spacetime is found. The formalism is then applied to explicitly compute the kink worldvolume action to quadratic order in two expansion parameters--associated with the hypersurface fluctuation length and the radius of AdS spacetime respectively. Two alternative methods are given for doing this. The results are expressed in terms of the trace of the extrinsic curvature and the intrinsic scalar curvature. In addition to conformal Galileon interactions, we find a non-Galileon term which is never sub-dominant. This method can be extended to any conformally flat bulk spacetime.
- The pseudo-conformal scenario is an alternative to inflation in which the early universe is described by an approximate conformal field theory on flat, Minkowski space. Some fields acquire a time-dependent expectation value, which breaks the flat space so(4,2) conformal algebra to its so(4,1) de Sitter subalgebra. As a result, weight-0 fields acquire a scale invariant spectrum of perturbations. The scenario is very general, and its essential features are determined by the symmetry breaking pattern, irrespective of the details of the underlying microphysics. In this paper, we apply the well-known coset technique to derive the most general effective lagrangian describing the Goldstone field and matter fields, consistent with the assumed symmetries. The resulting action captures the low energy dynamics of any pseudo-conformal realization, including the U(1)-invariant quartic model and the Galilean Genesis scenario. We also derive this lagrangian using an alternative method of curvature invariants, consisting of writing down geometric scalars in terms of the conformal mode. Using this general effective action, we compute the two-point function for the Goldstone and a fiducial weight-0 field, as well as some sample three-point functions involving these fields.
- Aug 08 2011 hep-th astro-ph.CO arXiv:1108.1397v1General relativity is a covariant theory of two transverse, traceless graviton degrees of freedom. According to a theorem of Hojman, Kuchar, and Teitelboim, modifications of general relativity must either introduce new degrees of freedom or violate the principle of general covariance. In this paper, we explore modifications of general relativity that retain the same number of gravitational degrees of freedom, and therefore explicitly break general covariance. Motivated by cosmology, the modifications of interest maintain spatial covariance. Demanding consistency of the theory forces the physical Hamiltonian density to obey an analogue of the renormalization group equation. In this context, the equation encodes the invariance of the theory under flow through the space of conformally equivalent spatial metrics. This paper is dedicated to setting up the formalism of our approach and applying it to a realistic class of theories. Forthcoming work will apply the formalism more generally.
- Jul 19 2011 hep-th arXiv:1107.3550v2For a single scalar field with unit sound speed minimally coupled to Einstein gravity, there are exactly three distinct cosmological solutions which produce a scale invariant spectrum of curvature perturbations in a dynamical attractor background, assuming vacuum initial conditions: slow-roll inflation; a slowly contracting adiabatic ekpyrotic phase, described by a rapidly-varying equation of state; and an adiabatic ekpyrotic phase on a slowly expanding background. Of these three, only inflation remains weakly coupled over a wide range of modes, the other scenarios can produce at most 12 e-folds of scale invariant and gaussian modes. In this paper, we investigate how allowing the speed of sound of fluctuations to evolve in time affects this classification. While in the presence of a variable sound speed there are many more scenarios which are scale invariant at the level of the two-point function, they generically suffer from strong coupling problems similar to those in the canonical case. There is, however, an exceptional case with superluminal sound speed, which suppresses non-gaussianities and somewhat alleviates strong coupling issues. We focus on a particular realization of this limit and show these scenarios are constrained and only able to produce at most 28 e-folds of scale invariant and gaussian perturbations. A similar bound should hold more generally --- the condition results from the combined requirements of matching the observed amplitude of curvature perturbations, demanding that the Hubble parameter remain sub-Planckian and keeping non-gaussianities under control. We therefore conclude that inflation remains the unique scenario, assuming a single degree of freedom on an attractor background, capable of producing arbitrarily many scale invariant modes while remaining weakly coupled. Alternative mechanisms must inevitably be unstable or rely on multiple degrees of freedom.
- Jul 12 2011 astro-ph.CO hep-th arXiv:1107.2112v1The symmetron is a scalar field associated with the dark sector whose coupling to matter depends on the ambient matter density. The symmetron is decoupled and screened in regions of high density, thereby satisfying local constraints from tests of gravity, but couples with gravitational strength in regions of low density, such as the cosmos. In this paper we derive the cosmological expansion history in the presence of a symmetron field, tracking the evolution through the inflationary, radiation- and matter-dominated epochs, using a combination of analytical approximations and numerical integration. For a broad range of initial conditions at the onset of inflation, the scalar field reaches its symmetry-breaking vacuum by the present epoch, as assumed in the local analysis of spherically-symmetric solutions and tests of gravity. For the simplest form of the potential, the energy scale is too small for the symmetron to act as dark energy, hence we must add a cosmological constant to drive late-time cosmic acceleration. We briefly discuss a class of generalized, non-renormalizable potentials that can have a greater impact on the late-time cosmology, though cosmic acceleration requires a delicate tuning of parameters in this case.
- We present a novel theory of the very early universe which addresses the traditional horizon and flatness problems of big bang cosmology and predicts a scale invariant spectrum of perturbations. Unlike inflation, this scenario requires no exponential accelerated expansion of space-time. Instead, the early universe is described by a conformal field theory minimally coupled to gravity. The conformal fields develop a time-dependent expectation value which breaks the flat space so(4,2) conformal symmetry down to so(4,1), the symmetries of de Sitter, giving perturbations a scale invariant spectrum. The solution is an attractor, at least in the case of a single time-dependent field. Meanwhile, the metric background remains approximately flat but slowly contracts, which makes the universe increasingly flat, homogeneous and isotropic, akin to the smoothing mechanism of ekpyrotic cosmology. Our scenario is very general, requiring only a conformal field theory capable of developing the appropriate time-dependent expectation values, and encompasses existing incarnations of this idea, specifically the U(1) model of Rubakov and the Galileon Genesis scenario. Its essential features depend only on the symmetry breaking pattern and not on the details of the underlying lagrangian. It makes generic observational predictions that make it potentially distinguishable from standard inflation, in particular significant non-gaussianities and the absence of primordial gravitational waves.
- We consider a cosmological scenario in which a scale-invariant spectrum of curvature perturbations is generated by a rapidly-evolving equation of state on a slowly expanding background. This scenario generalizes the "adiabatic ekpyrotic" mechanism proposed recently in arXiv:0910.2230. Whereas the original proposal assumed a slowly contracting background, the present work shows that the mechanism works equally well on an expanding background. This greatly expands the realm of broader cosmological scenarios in which this mechanism can be embedded. We present a phase space analysis and show that both the expanding and contracting versions of the scenario are dynamical attractors, with the expanding branch having a broader basin of attraction. In both cases, a finite range of scale invariant modes can be generated within the regime of validity of perturbation theory.
- Mar 02 2011 hep-th astro-ph.CO arXiv:1103.0003v2Galileon theories are of considerable interest since they allow for stable violations of the null energy condition. Since such violations could have occurred during a high-energy regime in the history of our universe, we are motivated to study supersymmetric extensions of these theories. This is carried out in this paper, where we construct generic classes of N=1 supersymmetric Galileon Lagrangians. They are shown to admit non-equivalent stress-energy tensors and, hence, vacua manifesting differing conditions for violating the null energy condition. The temporal and spatial fluctuations of all component fields of the supermultiplet are analyzed and shown to be stable on a large number of such backgrounds. In the process, we uncover a surprising connection between conformal Galileon and ghost condensate theories, allowing for a deeper understanding of both types of theories.
- We study a flat brane solution in an effective 5D action for cascading gravity and propose a mechanism to screen extrinsic curvature in the presence of a large tension on the brane. The screening mechanism leaves the bulk Riemann-flat, thus making it simpler to generalize large extra dimension dark energy models to higher codimensions. By studying an action with cubic interactions for the brane-bending scalar mode, we find that the perturbed action suffers from ghostlike instabilities for positive tension, whereas it can be made ghost-free for sufficiently small negative tension.
- Jan 20 2011 hep-th arXiv:1101.3548v1Recently, we introduced an ekpyrotic model based on a single, canonical scalar field that generates nearly scale invariant curvature fluctuations through a purely "adiabatic mechanism" in which the background evolution is a dynamical attractor. Despite the starkly different physical mechanism for generating fluctuations, the two-point function is identical to inflation. In this paper, we further explore this concept, focusing in particular on issues of non-gaussianity and quantum corrections. We find that the degeneracy with inflation is broken at three-point level: for the simplest case of an exponential potential, the three-point amplitude is strongly scale dependent, resulting in a breakdown of perturbation theory on small scales. However, we show that the perturbative breakdown can be circumvented -- and all issues raised in Linde et al. (arXiv:0912.0944) can be addressed -- by altering the potential such that power is suppressed on small scales. The resulting range of nearly scale invariant, gaussian modes can be as much as twelve e-folds, enough to span the scales probed by microwave background and large scale structure observations. On smaller scales, the spectrum is not scale invariant but is observationally acceptable.
- Dec 22 2010 hep-th astro-ph.CO arXiv:1012.4462v3Chameleons are scalar fields that couple directly to ordinary matter with gravitational strength, but which nevertheless evade the stringent constraints on tests of gravity because of properties they acquire in the presence of high ambient matter density. Chameleon theories were originally constructed in a bottom-up, phenomenological fashion, with potentials and matter couplings designed to hide the scalar from experiments. In this paper, we attempt to embed the chameleon scenario within string compactifications, thus UV completing the scenario. We look for stabilized potentials that can realize a screening mechanism, and we find that the volume modulus rather generically works as a chameleon, and in fact the supersymmetric potential used by Kachru, Kallosh, Linde and Trivedi (KKLT) is an example of this type. We consider all constraints from tests of gravity, allowing us to put experimental constraints on the KKLT parameters.
- Dec 18 2010 hep-th astro-ph.CO arXiv:1012.3748v3We show how to construct supersymmetric actions for higher-derivative scalar field theories of the form P(X,phi), within the context of d=4, N=1 supersymmetry. This construction is of general use, and is applied to write supersymmetric versions of the Dirac-Born-Infeld action. Our principal application of this formalism is to construct the supersymmetric extension of the ghost condensate. This allows us to study the interplay between supersymmetry, time-dependent backgrounds and violations of the null energy condition.
- Dec 07 2010 hep-th astro-ph.CO arXiv:1012.0846v2We derive all single-field cosmologies with unit sound speed that generate scale invariant curvature perturbations on a dynamical attractor background. We identify three distinct phases: slow-roll inflation; a slowly contracting adiabatic ekpyrotic phase, described by a rapidly-varying equation of state; and a novel adiabatic ekpyrotic phase on a slowly expanding background. All of these yield identical power spectra. The degeneracy is broken at the 3-point level: unlike the nearly gaussian spectrum of slow-roll inflation, adiabatic ekpyrosis predicts large non-gaussianities on small scales.
- Nov 30 2010 astro-ph.CO hep-th arXiv:1011.5909v1Despite the overwhelming evidence for the existence of dark energy and dark matter, their underlying fundamental physics remains unknown. This review article explores the tantalizing possibility that the dark sector includes new light degrees of freedom that mediate long-range forces on cosmological scales. To ensure consistency with laboratory and solar system tests of gravity, some screening mechanism is necessary to "hide" these degrees of freedom locally. I will focus on two broad classes of screening theories, chameleons and symmetrons, which rely respectively on the scalar field acquiring a large mass or weak coupling in the presence of large ambient matter density.
- The 4-dimensional effective theory arising from an induced gravity action for a co-dimension greater than one brane consists of multiple galileon fields pi^I, I=1...N, invariant under separate Galilean transformations for each scalar, and under an internal SO(N) symmetry. We study the viability of such models by examining spherically symmetric solutions. We find that for general, non-derivative couplings to matter invariant under the internal symmetry, such solutions exist and exhibit a Vainshtein screening effect. By studying perturbations about such solutions, we find both an inevitable gradient instability and fluctuations propagating at superluminal speeds. These findings suggest that more general, derivative couplings to matter are required for the viability of SO(N) galileon theories.
- Modifications of general relativity provide an alternative explanation to dark energy for the observed acceleration of the universe. We review recent developments in modified gravity theories, focusing on higher dimensional approaches and chameleon/f(R) theories. We classify these models in terms of the screening mechanisms that enable such theories to approach general relativity on small scales (and thus satisfy solar system constraints). We describe general features of the modified Friedman equation in such theories. The second half of this review describes experimental tests of gravity in light of the new theoretical approaches. We summarize the high precision tests of gravity on laboratory and solar system scales. We describe in some detail tests on astrophysical scales ranging from ~kpc (galaxy scales) to ~Gpc (large-scale structure). These tests rely on the growth and inter-relationship of perturbations in the metric potentials, density and velocity fields which can be measured using gravitational lensing, galaxy cluster abundances, galaxy clustering and the Integrated Sachs-Wolfe effect. A robust way to interpret observations is by constraining effective parameters, such as the ratio of the two metric potentials. Currently tests of gravity on astrophysical scales are in the early stages --- we summarize these tests and discuss the interesting prospects for new tests in the coming decade.
- Apr 13 2010 astro-ph.CO hep-th arXiv:1004.2046v2The mounting evidence for anomalously large peculiar velocities in our Universe presents a challenge for the LCDM paradigm. The recent estimates of the large scale bulk flow by Watkins et al. are inconsistent at the nearly 3 sigma level with LCDM predictions. Meanwhile, Lee and Komatsu have recently estimated that the occurrence of high-velocity merging systems such as the Bullet Cluster (1E0657-57) is unlikely at a 6.5-5.8 sigma level, with an estimated probability between 3.3x10^-11 and 3.6x10^-9 in LCDM cosmology. We show that these anomalies are alleviated in a broad class of infrared-modifed gravity theories, called brane-induced gravity, in which gravity becomes higher-dimensional at ultra large distances. These theories include additional scalar forces that enhance gravitational attraction and therefore speed up structure formation at late times and on sufficiently large scales. The peculiar velocities are enhanced by 24-34% compared to standard gravity, with the maximal enhancement nearly consistent at the 2 sigma level with bulk flow observations. The occurrence of the Bullet Cluster in these theories is 10^4 times more probable than in LCDM cosmology.
- We perform a full perturbative stability analysis of the 6D cascading gravity model in the presence of 3-brane tension. We demonstrate that for sufficiently large tension on the (flat) 3-brane, there are no ghosts at the perturbative level, consistent with results that had previously only been obtained in a specific 5D decoupling limit. These results establish the cascading gravity framework as a consistent infrared modification of gravity.
- Jan 27 2010 hep-th astro-ph.CO arXiv:1001.4525v3We present a screening mechanism that allows a scalar field to mediate a long range (~Mpc) force of gravitational strength in the cosmos while satisfying local tests of gravity. The mechanism hinges on local symmetry restoration in the presence of matter. In regions of sufficiently high matter density, the field is drawn towards \phi = 0 where its coupling to matter vanishes and the \phi-> -\phi symmetry is restored. In regions of low density, however, the symmetry is spontaneously broken, and the field couples to matter with gravitational strength. We predict deviations from general relativity in the solar system that are within reach of next-generation experiments, as well as astrophysically observable violations of the equivalence principle. The model can be distinguished experimentally from Brans-Dicke gravity, chameleon theories and brane-world modifications of gravity.
- Dec 22 2009 hep-th astro-ph.CO arXiv:0912.3798v2We develop a fully covariant, well-posed 5D effective action for the 6D cascading gravity brane-world model, and use this to study cosmological solutions. We obtain this effective action through the 6D decoupling limit, in which an additional scalar degree mode, \pi, called the brane-bending mode, determines the bulk-brane gravitational interaction. The 5D action obtained this way inherits from the sixth dimension an extra \pi self-interaction kinetic term. We compute appropriate boundary terms, to supplement the 5D action, and hence derive fully covariant junction conditions and the 5D Einstein field equations. Using these, we derive the cosmological evolution induced on a 3-brane moving in a static bulk. We study the strong- and weak-coupling regimes analytically in this static ansatz, and perform a complete numerical analysis of our solution. Although the cascading model can generate an accelerating solution in which the \pi field comes to dominate at late times, the presence of a critical singularity prevents the \pi field from dominating entirely. Our results open up the interesting possibility that a more general treatment of degravitation in a time-dependent bulk, or taking into account finite brane-thickness effects, may lead to an accelerating universe without a cosmological constant.
- The universe can be made flat and smooth by undergoing a phase of ultra-slow (ekpyrotic) contraction, a condition achievable with a single, canonical scalar field and conventional general relativity. It has been argued, though, that generating scale-invariant density perturbations, requires at least two scalar fields and a two-step process that first produces entropy fluctuations and then converts them to curvature perturbations. In this paper, we identify a loophole in the argument and introduce an ekpyrotic model based on a single, canonical scalar field that generates nearly scale-invariant curvature fluctuations through a purely "adiabatic mechanism" in which the background evolution is a dynamical attractor. The resulting spectrum can be slightly red with distinctive non-gaussian fluctuations.
- In the Cascading Gravity brane-world scenario, our 3-brane lies within a succession of lower-codimension branes, each with their own induced gravity term, embedded into each other in a higher-dimensional space-time. In the 6+1-dimensional version of this scenario, we show that a 3-brane with tension remains flat, at least for sufficiently small tension that the weak-field approximation is valid. The bulk solution is nowhere singular and remains in the perturbative regime everywhere.
- May 12 2009 hep-th astro-ph.CO arXiv:0905.1325v4We study the cosmology of a galileon scalar-tensor theory, obtained by covariantizing the decoupling lagrangian of the Dvali-Gabadadze-Poratti (DGP) model. Despite being local in 3+1 dimensions, the resulting cosmological evolution is remarkably similar to that of the full 4+1-dimensional DGP framework, both for the expansion history and the evolution of density perturbations. As in the DGP model, the covariant galileon theory yields two branches of solutions, depending on the sign of the galileon velocity. Perturbations are stable on one branch and ghost-like on the other. An interesting effect uncovered in our analysis is a cosmological version of the Vainshtein screening mechanism: at early times, the galileon dynamics are dominated by self-interaction terms, resulting in its energy density being suppressed compared to matter or radiation; once the matter density has redshifted sufficiently, the galileon becomes an important component of the energy density and contributes to dark energy. We estimate conservatively that the resulting expansion history is consistent with the observed late-time cosmology, provided that the scale of modification satisfies r_c > 15 Gpc.
- Mar 10 2009 astro-ph.CO hep-th arXiv:0903.1292v4We perform N-body simulations of theories with infinite-volume extra dimensions, such as the Dvali-Gabadadze-Porrati (DGP) model and its higher-dimensional generalizations, where 4D gravity is mediated by massive gravitons. The longitudinal mode of these gravitons mediates an extra scalar force, which we model as a density-dependent modification to the Poisson equation. This enhances gravitational clustering, particularly on scales that have undergone mild nonlinear processing. While the standard non-linear fitting algorithm of Smith et al. overestimates this power enhancement on non-linear scales, we present a modified fitting formula that offers a remarkably good fit to our power spectra. Due to the uncertainty in galaxy bias, our results are consistent with precision power spectrum determinations from galaxy redshift surveys, even for graviton Compton wavelengths as small as 300 Mpc. Our model is sufficiently general that we expect it to capture the phenomenology of a wide class of related higher-dimensional gravity scenarios.
- We present a case that current observations may already indicate new gravitational physics on cosmological scales. The excess of power seen in the Lyman-alpha forest and small-scale CMB experiments, the anomalously large bulk flows seen both in peculiar velocity surveys and in kinetic SZ, and the higher ISW cross-correlation all indicate that structure may be more evolved than expected from LCDM. We argue that these observations find a natural explanation in models with infinite-volume (or, at least, cosmological-size) extra dimensions, where the graviton is a resonance with a tiny width. The longitudinal mode of the graviton mediates an extra scalar force which speeds up structure formation at late times, thereby accounting for the above anomalies. The required graviton Compton wavelength is relatively small compared to the present Hubble radius, of order 300-600 Mpc. Moreover, with certain assumptions about the behavior of the longitudinal mode on super-Hubble scales, our modified gravity framework can also alleviate the tension with the low quadrupole and the peculiar vanishing of the CMB correlation function on large angular scales, seen both in COBE and WMAP. This relies on a novel mechanism that cancels a late-time ISW contribution against the primordial Sachs-Wolfe amplitude.
- We show that curvature perturbations acquire a scale invariant spectrum for any constant equation of state, provided the fluid has a suitably time-dependent sound speed. In order for modes to exit the physical horizon, and in order to solve the usual problems of standard big bang cosmology, we argue that the only allowed possibilities are inflationary (albeit not necessarily slow-roll) expansion or ekpyrotic contraction. Non-Gaussianities offer many distinguish features. As usual with a small sound speed, non-Gaussianity can be relatively large, around current sensitivity levels. For DBI-like lagrangians, the amplitude is negative in the inflationary branch, and can be either negative or positive in the ekpyrotic branch. Unlike the power spectrum, the three-point amplitude displays a large tilt that, in the expanding case, peaks on smallest scales. While the shape is predominantly of the equilateral type in the inflationary branch, as in DBI inflation, it is of the local form in the ekpyrotic branch. The tensor spectrum is also generically far from scale invariant. In the contracting case, for instance, tensors are strongly blue tilted, resulting in an unmeasurably small gravity wave amplitude on cosmic microwave background scales.
- We summarize the utility of precise cosmic microwave background (CMB) polarization measurements as probes of the physics of inflation. We focus on the prospects for using CMB measurements to differentiate various inflationary mechanisms. In particular, a detection of primordial B-mode polarization would demonstrate that inflation occurred at a very high energy scale, and that the inflaton traversed a super-Planckian distance in field space. We explain how such a detection or constraint would illuminate aspects of physics at the Planck scale. Moreover, CMB measurements can constrain the scale-dependence and non-Gaussianity of the primordial fluctuations and limit the possibility of a significant isocurvature contribution. Each such limit provides crucial information on the underlying inflationary dynamics. Finally, we quantify these considerations by presenting forecasts for the sensitivities of a future satellite experiment to the inflationary parameters.
- Dec 19 2007 hep-th arXiv:0712.2821v1We construct a cascading brane model of gravity in which the behavior of the gravitational force law interpolates from (n+4)-dimensional to (n+3)-dimensional all the way down to 4-dimensional from longer to shorter length scales. We show that at the linearized level, this model exhibits the features necessary for degravitation of the cosmological constant. The model is shown to be ghost free with the addition of suitable brane kinetic operators, and we demonstrate this using a number of independent procedures. Consequently this is a consistent IR modification of gravity, providing a promising framework for a dynamical, degravitating solution of the cosmological constant problem.
- We present a higher codimension generalization of the DGP scenario which, unlike previous attempts, is free of ghost instabilities. The 4D propagator is made regular by embedding our visible 3-brane within a 4-brane, each with their own induced gravity terms, in a flat 6D bulk. The model is ghost-free if the tension on the 3-brane is larger than a certain critical value, while the induced metric remains flat. The gravitational force law `cascades' from a 6D behavior at the largest distances followed by a 5D and finally a 4D regime at the shortest scales.
- Oct 29 2007 hep-th arXiv:0710.5172v3New Ekpyrotic Cosmology is an alternative scenario of the early universe which relies on a phase of slow contraction before the big bang. We calculate the 3-point and 4-point correlation functions of primordial density perturbations and find a generically large non-Gaussian signal, just below the current sensitivity level of CMB experiments. This is in contrast with slow-roll inflation, which predicts negligible non-Gaussianity. The model is also distinguishable from alternative inflationary scenarios that yield large non-Gaussianity, such as DBI inflation and the simplest curvaton-like models, through the shape dependence of the correlation functions. Non-Gaussianity therefore provides a distinguishing and testable prediction of New Ekpyrotic Cosmology.
- New Ekpyrotic Cosmology is an alternative scenario of early universe cosmology in which the universe existed before the big bang. The simplest model relies on two scalar fields, whose entropy perturbation leads to a scale-invariant spectrum of density fluctuations. The ekpyrotic solution has a tachyonic instability along the entropy field direction which, a priori, appears to require fine-tuning of the initial conditions. In this paper, we show that these can be achieved naturally by adding a small positive mass term for the tachyonic field and coupling to light fermions. Then, for a wide range of initial conditions, the tachyonic field gets stabilized with the appropriate values well before the onset of the ekpyrotic phase. Furthermore, we show that ekpyrotic theory is successful in solving the flatness, horizon and homogeneity problems of standard big bang cosmology. Motivated by the analysis of the tachyonic instability, we propose a simplification of the model in terms of new field variables. Instead of requiring two exponential potentials, one for each scalar field, it suffices to consider a single nearly exponential potential for one of the fields and a tachyonic mass term along the orthogonal direction in field space. All other terms in the potential are essentially arbitrary. This greatly widens the class of ekpyrotic potentials and allows substantial freedom in determining the spectral index and possible non-Gaussianity. We present a generalized expression for the spectral index which is easily consistent with the observed red tilt. We also argue that for a wide range of potentials non-Gaussianity can be substantial, within the reach of current observations.
- We study the possibility of decoupling gravity from the vacuum energy. This is effectively equivalent to promoting Newton's constant to a high-pass filter that degravitates sources of characteristic wavelength larger than a certain macroscopic (super) horizon scale L. We study the underlying physics and the consistency of this phenomenon. In particular, the absence of ghosts, already at the linear level, implies that in any such theory the graviton should either have a mass 1/L, or be a resonance of similar width. This has profound physical implications for the degravitation idea.
- In this paper, we present a new scenario of the early Universe that contains a pre big bang Ekpyrotic phase. By combining this with a ghost condensate, the theory explicitly violates the null energy condition without developing any ghost-like instabilities. Thus the contracting universe goes through a non-singular bounce and evolves smoothly into the expanding post big bang phase. The curvature perturbation acquires a scale-invariant spectrum well before the bounce in this scenario. It is sourced by the scale-invariant entropy perturbation engendered by two ekpyrotic scalar fields, a mechanism recently proposed by Lehners et al. Since the background geometry is non-singular at all times, the curvature perturbation remains nearly constant on super horizon scales. It emerges from the bounce unscathed and imprints a scale-invariant spectrum of density fluctuations in the matter-radiation fluid at the onset of the hot big bang phase. The ekpyrotic potential can be chosen so that the spectrum has a ``red'' tilt, in accordance with the recent data from WMAP. As in the original Ekpyrotic scenario, the model predicts a negligible gravity wave signal on all observable scales. As such ``New Ekpyrotic Cosmology" provides a consistent and distinguishable alternative to inflation to account for the origin of the seeds of large scale structure.
- Mach's principle is the concept that inertial frames are determined by matter. We propose and implement a precise formulation of Mach's principle in which matter and geometry are in one-to-one correspondence. Einstein's equations are not modified and no selection principle is applied to their solutions; Mach's principle is realized wholly within Einstein's general theory of relativity. The key insight is the observation that, in addition to bulk matter, one can also add boundary matter. Specification of both boundary and bulk stress tensors uniquely specifies the geometry and thereby the inertial frames. Our framework is similar to that of the black hole membrane paradigm and, in asymptotically AdS space-times, is consistent with holographic duality.
- Dec 08 2006 hep-th arXiv:hep-th/0612052v3We study the cosmology of a toy modified theory of gravity in which gravity shuts off at short distances, as in the fat graviton scenario of Sundrum. In the weak-field limit, the theory is perturbatively local, ghost-free and unitary, although likely suffers from non-perturbative instabilities. We derive novel self-inflationary solutions from the vacuum equations of the theory, without invoking scalar fields or other forms of stress energy. The modified perturbation equation expressed in terms of the Newtonian potential closely resembles its counterpart for inflaton fluctuations. The resulting scalar spectrum is therefore slightly red, akin to the simplest scalar-driven inflationary models. A key difference, however, is that the gravitational wave spectrum is generically not scale invariant. In particular the tensor spectrum can have a blue tilt, a distinguishing feature from standard inflation.
- String gas cosmology is rewritten in the Einstein frame. In an effective theory in which a gas of closed strings is coupled to a dilaton gravity background without any potential for the dilaton, the Hagedorn phase which is quasi-static in the string frame corresponds to an expanding, non-accelerating phase from the point of view of the Einstein frame. The Einstein frame curvature singularity which appears in this toy model is related to the blowing up of the dilaton in the string frame. However, for large values of the dilaton, the toy model clearly is inapplicable. Thus, there must be a new string phase which is likely to be static with frozen dilaton. With such a phase, the horizon problem can be successfully addressed in string gas cosmology. The generation of cosmological perturbations in the Hagedorn phase seeded by a gas of long strings in thermal equilibrium is reconsidered, both from the point of view of the string frame (in which it is easier to understand the generation of fluctuations) and the Einstein frame (in which the evolution equations are well known). It is shown that fixing the dilaton at some early stage is important in order to obtain a scale-invariant spectrum of cosmological fluctuations in string gas cosmology.
- Scalar self interactions are known to weaken considerably the current constraints on scalar-mediated fifth forces. We consider a scalar field with a quartic self interaction and gravitation-strength Yukawa couplings to matter particles. After discussing the phenomenology of this scalar field, we assess the ability of ongoing and planned experiments to detect the fifth force mediated by such a field. Assuming that the quartic and matter couplings are of order unity, the current-generation Eot-Wash experiment at the University of Washington will be able to explore an interesting subset of parameter space. The next-generation Eot-Wash experiment is expected to be able to detect, or to rule out, the fifth force due to such a scalar with unit quartic and matter couplings at the 3 sigma confidence level.
- We show that an interaction between dark matter and dark energy generically results in an effective dark energy equation of state of w<-1. This arises because the interaction alters the redshift-dependence of the matter density. An observer who fits the data treating the dark matter as non-interacting will infer an effective dark energy fluid with w<-1. We argue that the model is consistent with all current observations, the tightest constraint coming from estimates of the matter density at different redshifts. Comparing the luminosity and angular-diameter distance relations with LambdaCDM and phantom models, we find that the three models are degenerate within current uncertainties but likely distinguishable by the next generation of dark energy experiments.
- We show that the chameleon scalar field can drive the current phase of cosmic acceleration for a large class of scalar potentials that are also consistent with local tests of gravity. These provide explicit realizations of a quintessence model where the quintessence scalar field couples directly to baryons and dark matter with gravitational strength. We analyze the cosmological evolution of the chameleon field and show the existence of an attractor solution with the chameleon following the minimum of its effective potential. For a wide range of initial conditions, spanning many orders of magnitude in initial chameleon energy density, the attractor is reached before nucleosynthesis. Surprisingly, the range of allowed initial conditions leading to a successful cosmology is wider than in normal quintessence. We discuss applications to the cyclic model of the universe and show how the chameleon mechanism weakens some of the constraints on cyclic potentials.
- The mass of a scalar field mediating a fifth force is tightly constrained by experiments. We show, however, that adding a quartic self-interaction for such a scalar makes most tests much less constraining: the non-linear equation of motion masks the coupling of the scalar to matter through the chameleon mechanism. We discuss consequences for fifth force experiments. In particular, we find that, with quartic coupling of order unity, a gravitational strength interaction with matter is allowed by current constraints. We show that our chameleon scalar field results in experimental signatures that could be detected through modest improvements of current laboratory set-ups.