New Papers

We publish here links to new papers by members of the group.

A. Ijjas, F. Pretorius, P.J. Steinhardt
Stability and the Gauge Problem in Non-Perturbative Cosmology | arXiv:1809.07010

Abstract. In this paper, we describe the first steps towards fully non-perturbative cosmology. We explain why the conventional methods used by cosmologists based on the ADM formulation are generally inadequate for this purpose and why it is advantageous instead to adapt the harmonic formulation pioneered and utilized in mathematical and numerical relativity. Here we focus on using this approach to evaluating the linear mode stability in homogeneous and nearly homogeneous backgrounds and devising a valid scheme and diagnostics for numerical computation. We also briefly touch on the relevance of these methods for extracting cosmological observables from non-perturbative simulations.

P. Ade et al. (including A.Ijjas)
The Simons Observatory: Science goals and forecasts | arXiv:1808.07445

Abstract. The Simons Observatory (SO) is a new cosmic microwave background experiment being built on Cerro Toco in Chile, due to begin observations in the early 2020s. We describe the scientific goals of the experiment, motivate the design, and forecast its performance. [...] Our key science goals are to characterize the primordial perturbations, measure the number of relativistic species and the mass of neutrinos, test for deviations from a cosmological constant, improve our understanding of galaxy evolution, and constrain the duration of reionization. The SATs will target the largest angular scales observable from Chile, mapping ~10% of the sky to a white noise level of 2 μK-arcmin in combined 93 and 145 GHz bands, to measure the primordial tensor-to-scalar ratio, r, at a target level of σ(r)=0.003. The LAT will map ~40% of the sky at arcminute angular resolution to an expected white noise level of 6 μK-arcmin in combined 93 and 145 GHz bands, overlapping with the majority of the LSST sky region and partially with DESI. With up to an order of magnitude lower polarization noise than maps from the Planck satellite, the high-resolution sky maps will constrain cosmological parameters derived from the damping tail, gravitational lensing of the microwave background, the primordial bispectrum, and the thermal and kinematic Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effects, and will aid in delensing the large-angle polarization signal to measure the tensor-to-scalar ratio. The survey will also provide a legacy catalog of 16,000 galaxy clusters and more than 20,000 extragalactic sources.

P. Agrawal, G. Obied, P.J. Steinhardt, C. Vafa
On the Cosmological Implications of the String Swampland | arXiv:1806.09718

Abstract. We study constraints imposed by two proposed string Swampland criteria on cosmology. These criteria involve an upper bound on the range traversed by scalar fields as well as a lower bound on |∇ϕV|/V when V > 0. We find that inflationary models are generically in tension with these two criteria. Applying these same criteria to dark energy in the present epoch, we find that specific quintessence models can satisfy these bounds and, at the same time, satisfy current observational constraints. Assuming the two Swampland criteria are valid, we argue that the universe will undergo a phase transition within a few Hubble times. These criteria sharpen the motivation for future measurements of the tensor-to-scalar ratio r and the dark energy equation of state w, and for tests of the equivalence principle for dark matter.

A. Ijjas, P.J. Steinhardt
Bouncing Cosmology made simple | arXiv:1803.01961

Abstract. We introduce the "wedge diagram," an intuitive way to illustrate how cosmological models with a classical (non-singular) bounce generically resolve fundamental problems in cosmology. These include the well-known horizon, flatness, and inhomogeneity problems; the small tensor-to-scalar ratio observed in the cosmic microwave background; the low entropy at the beginning of a hot, expanding phase; and the avoidance of quantum runaway. The same diagrammatic approach can be used to compare with other cosmological scenarios.

A. Ijjas
Space-time slicing in Horndeski theories and its implications for non-singular bouncing solutions | arXiv:1710.05990

Abstract. In this paper, we show how the proper choice of gauge is critical in analyzing the stability of non-singular cosmological bounce solutions based on Horndeski theories. We show that it is possible to construct non-singular cosmological bounce solutions with classically stable behavior for all modes with wavelengths above the Planck scale where: (a) the solution involves a stage of null-energy condition violation during which gravity is described by a modification of Einstein's general relativity; and (b) the solution reduces to Einstein gravity both before and after the null-energy condition violating stage. Similar considerations apply to galilean genesis scenarios.