Most people when talking about cosmology typically talk about the universe in one context, that is, as a particular solution to the Einstein field equations. Part of my research in mathematical cosmology is to try to determine whether the present-day universe which we observe to be very close to spatially flat and homogeneous, and very close to isotropic could have emerged from a more general geometric state.
What is often not discussed adequately is the fact that not only has our universe emerged from special initial conditions, but the fact that these special initial conditions also must include the geometry of the early universe, and the type of matter in the early universe. Below, I have attached a simulation that shows how the early universe can evolve to different possible states depending on the type of physical matter parametrized by an equation of state parameter . In particular, some examples are:
- : Vacuum energy
- : Radiation
- : Stiff Fluid
Note: Click the image below to access the simulation!
In these simulations, we present phase plots of solutions to the Einstein field equations for spatially homogeneous and isotropic flat, hyperbolic, and closed universe geometries. The different points are:
- dS: de Sitter universe – Inflationary epoch
- M: Milne universe
- F: spatially flat FLRW universe – our present-day universe
- E: Einstein static universe
Note how by changing the value of , the dynamics lead to different possible future states. Dynamical systems people will recognize the problem at hand requires one to determine for which values of is F a saddle or stable node.