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After the Beginning - A Cosmic Journey Through Space and Time

After the Beginning - A Cosmic Journey Through Space and Time

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5 Einstein Equations

Einstein’s equations are Gµν = −8πGTµν + Λgµν, where Gµν is
the Einstein tensor, composed of the Riemann tensor, Rµν, which
characterizesthe curvature of spacetime, and the Ricci scalarcurva-
ture R. Newton’s constant is denoted by G. The presence of matter
and radiation appears in the stress–energy tensor, Tµν. Einstein’s
equations tell spacetime how to curve to the presence of matter and
radiation, and then tell the latter how to arrange themselves and
move under the influence of gravity. It is in this equation that we
see that spacetime is not merely an arena in which things happen,
but is itself shaped by what happens.

6 World Lines and Cosmic Time

Time always progresses, and in one direction only. Therefore, even
if a particle sits still, nevertheless, in four-dimensional spacetime
it traces a track called its world line. A mathematician, Herman
Weyl, hypothesized that world lines of particles in a universe such
as ours do not become entangled. (If any two world lines were to
cross, the single-valuedness of functions of time would be lost.) In
a uniform and expanding universe, an observer could see the world
lines diverging from a point at some distant finite or infinite time
in the past, but never again would they meet. It is remarkable that
Weyl introduced his hypothesis before Hubble had discovered the
expansion of the universe. The idealization is altogether reasonable.
Of course, sometimes galaxies collide. But, as to the overall history
of the universe, we are not disturbed by these events.

If on each world line a common time t is marked, the points so
singled out form a spatial surface. The surface might simply be
a plane, in which case the geometry would be Euclidean, like the
geometry of lines inscribed on a sheet of paper on a desk. In fact,
recent discoveries in cosmology have confirmed that this is indeed
the curvature of our universe—flat. It need not have been so. The
surfaces at any slice of cosmic time could have been spherical or
hyperbolic. The three possibilities emerge as the only curvatures
that are possible for the metric of a uniform homogenous universe.
Robertson and Walker discovered this metric independently.

July 13, 2004

Book: After the Begining

bk04-004

82 Norman K. Glendenning

7 Metric for a Uniform Isotropic Universe

Express Weyl’s hypothesis in terms of coordinates and metric. A
world line is labeled by three space coordinatesxm

(m = 1,2,3)and

a time coordinate x0

. Consider a 3-surface defined by an orthogonal
slice through the world lines at a common time x0

, which we use to
label such slices. To satisfy the Weyl hypothesis, the metric tensor

gmn

must have the following properties. Orthogonality is expressed
by g0n = 0. Each of the world lines, xm

= constant, is a geodesic.

Therefore,

d2

xm

ds2 + Γm

kl

dxk

ds

dxl

ds = 0,

where the line element is ds2

= gkldxk

dxl

. For xm

= constant

(each m = 1,2,3) we obtain Γn

00 = 0, and ∂g00/∂xn

= 0. Thus

g00 depends only on x0

; we can therefore replace it by a suitable
function of itself that makes g00 = 1. The line element then becomes

ds2

= c2

dt2

+ gmndxm

dxn

, where t≡x0

is cosmic time.

1. Example: Surface of negative curvature

x2

i −(ct)2

=−R2

.

Substitute

x1 = Rsinhχ cosθ, x2 = Rsinhχ sinθ cosφ,

x3 = Rsinhχ sinθ sinφ, t≡x4 = Rcoshχ.

This gives

dx2

i −(cdt)2

= R2

[dχ2

+ sinh2

χ(dθ2

+ sin2

θdφ2

)].

Now substitute r = sinh χ to obtain

ds2

= c2

dt2

−R(t)2

dr2
1 + kr2 + r2

(dθ2

+ sin2

θdφ2

)

.

This is known as the Robertson–Walker metric. Here, R(t) is the
previously discussed scale factor. For a homogeneous isotropic uni-
verse, Einstein’s 10 independent field quantities gµν(xσ) have been
reduced to a single function of cosmic time, the scale factor R(t),
and a curvature parameter k. The constant k can take three values:

k = 1 for spherical subspace, k = 0 for a planar, and k =−1 for a
hyperbolic.

July 13, 2004

Book: After the Begining

bk04-004

Big Bang 83

8 The Friedmann Lemaˆ

itre Equations

For the Robertson–Walker line element derived above correspond-
ing to a homogeneous and isotropic universe, only two of Einstein’s
field equations are independent. They can be taken as

˙

R2

+ kc2

= (1/3)(Λ + 8πGρ)R2

and

¨
R = (1/3)[Λ−4πG(ρ + 3p/c2

)]R.

Here ρ = /c2

is the mass density, the energy density, p the
pressure, Λ Einstein’s cosmological constant, and k the curvature
parameter.

Take the derivative of the first of the above pair of equations,
multiply the second by ˙

R, and eliminate the Λ term from the re-
sulting pair to obtain the conservation law implicit in the Einstein
equations (divergenceless stress–energy tensor),

˙ρ =−3(p/c2

+ ρ)( ˙

R/R).

This equation can also be written in two different ways:

d/dt(ρc2

R3

) =−pdR3

/dt,

which is the energy–work equation for expansion or contraction.
Another way in which the conservation equation can be written is

dρ/dR =−3(p/c2

+ ρ)/R.

The independent equations governing expansion may be taken as
the first of the Friedmann–Lemaˆitre equations together with the
local conservation equation in any of its forms. This was our im-
plicit choice on page 74.
We can derive rigorously the behavior of radiation and matter
densities that we arrived at by logic in the text from either of
the conservation equations. The equation of state for radiation is

p = (1/3)ρrc2

. Therefore

dρ/ρ =−4dR/R.

This yields the conservation equation ρr ∼ 1/R4

. For matter,

p ρm/c2

and we obtain instead ρm ∼1/R3

. Thus, as we learned,

radiation dominates early in the history, and matter next.

July 13, 2004

Book: After the Begining

bk04-004

4 Elementary Particles —

Fundamental Forces

It remains therefore that the first matter must be atoms. . . .

— Sir Isaac Newton, Quaestiones

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