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4
TASI Lectures: Introduction to Cosmology
Mark Trodden
1
and Sean M. Carroll
2
1
Department of Physics
Syracuse University
Syracuse, NY 13244-1130, USA
2
Enrico Fermi Institute, Department of Physics,
and Center for Cosmological Physics
University of Chicago
5640 S. Ellis Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637, USA
August 20, 2004
Abstract
These proceedings summarize lectures that were delivered as part of the 2002 and
2003 Theoretical Advanced Study Institutes in elementary particle physics (TASI) at
the University of Colorado at Boulder. They are intended to provide a pedagogical
introduction to cosmology aimed at advanced graduate students in particle physics and
string theory.
SU-GP-04/1-1
1
Contents
1 Introduction 4
2 Fundamentals of the Standard Cosmology 4
2.1 Homogeneity and Isotropy: The Robertson-Walker Metric . . . . . . . . . . 4
2.2 Dynamics: The Friedmann Equations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
2.3 Flat Universes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
2.4 Including Curvature . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
2.5 Horizons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
2.6 Geometry, Destiny and Dark Energy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
3 Our Universe Today and Dark Energy 16
3.1 Matter: Ordinary and Dark . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
3.2 Supernovae and the Accelerating Universe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
3.3 The Cosmic Microwave Background . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
3.4 The Cosmological Constant Problem(s) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
3.5 Dark Energy, or Worse? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
4 Early Times in the Standard Cosmology 35
4.1 Describing Matter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
4.2 Particles in Equilibrium . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
4.3 Thermal Relics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
4.4 Vacuum displacement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
4.5 Primordial Nucleosynthesis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
4.6 Finite Temperature Phase Transitions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
4.7 Topological Defects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
4.8 Baryogenesis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
4.9 Baryon Number Violation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
4.9.1 B-violation in Grand Unified Theories . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
4.9.2 B-violation in the Electroweak theory. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
4.9.3 CP violation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
4.9.4 Departure from Thermal Equilibrium . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
4.9.5 Baryogenesis via leptogenesis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58
4.9.6 Affleck-Dine Baryogenesis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58
5 Inflation 59
5.1 The Flatness Problem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
5.2 The Horizon Problem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
5.3 Unwanted Relics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62
5.4 The General Idea of Inflation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
5.5 Slowly-Rolling Scalar Fields . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
5.6 Attractor Solutions in Inflation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
2
5.7 Solving the Problems of the Standard Cosmology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66
5.8 Vacuum Fluctuations and Perturbations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67
5.9 Reheating and Preheating . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69
5.10 The Beginnings of Inflation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70
3
1 Introduction
The last decade has seen an explosive increase in both the volume and the accuracy of data
obtained from cosmological observations. The number of techniques available to probe and
cross-check these data has similarly proliferated in recent years.
Theoretical cosmologists have not been slouches during this time, either. However, it is
fair to say that we have not made comparable progress in connecting the wonderful ideas
we have to explain the early universe to concrete fundamental physics models. One of our
hopes in these lectures is to encourage the dialogue between cosmology, particle physics, and
string theory that will be needed to develop such a connection.
In this paper, we have combined material from two sets of TASI lectures (given by SMC in
2002 and MT in 2003). We have taken the opportunity to add more detail than was originally
presented, as well as to include some topics that were originally excluded for reasons of time.
Our intent is to provide a concise introduction to the basics of modern cosmology as given by
the standard “ΛCDM” Big-Bang model, as well as an overview of topics of current research
interest.
In Lecture 1 we present the fundamentals of the standard cosmology, introducing evidence
for homogeneity and isotropy and the Friedmann-Robertson-Walker models that these make
possible. In Lecture 2 we consider the actual state of our current universe, which leads
naturally to a discussion of its most surprising and problematic feature: the existence of dark
energy. In Lecture 3 we consider the implications of the cosmological solutions obtained in
Lecture 1 for early times in the universe. In particular, we discuss thermodynamics in the
expanding universe, finite-temperature phase transitions, and baryogenesis. Finally, Lecture
4 contains a discussion of the problems of the standard cosmology and an introduction to
our best-formulated approach to solving them – the inflationary universe.
Our review is necessarily superficial, given the large number of topics relevant to modern
cosmology. More detail can be found in several excellent textbooks [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7].
Throughout the lectures we have borrowed liberally (and sometimes verbatim) from earlier
reviews of our own [8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15].
Our metric signature is −+++. We use units in which ¯ h = c = 1, and define the reduced
Planck mass by M
P
≡ (8πG)
−1/2
10
18
GeV.
2 Fundamentals of the Standard Cosmology
2.1 Homogeneity and Isotropy: The Robertson-Walker Metric
Cosmology as the application of general relativity (GR) to the entire universe would seem a
hopeless endeavor were it not for a remarkable fact – the universe is spatially homogeneous
and isotropic on the largest scales.
“Isotropy” is the claim that the universe looks the same in all direction. Direct evidence
comes from the smoothness of the temperature of the cosmic microwave background, as we
will discuss later. “Homogeneity” is the claim that the universe looks the same at every
4
r
D
A
B
C
E
F
G
H
F’
γ γ
β
x
Figure 2.1: Geometry of a homogeneous and isotropic space.
point. It is harder to test directly, although some evidence comes from number counts of
galaxies. More traditionally, we may invoke the “Copernican principle,” that we do not live
in a special place in the universe. Then it follows that, since the universe appears isotropic
around us, it should be isotropic around every point; and a basic theorem of geometry states
that isotropy around every point implies homogeneity.
We may therefore approximate the universe as a spatially homogeneous and isotropic
three-dimensional space which may expand (or, in principle, contract) as a function of time.
The metric on such a spacetime is necessarily of the Robertson-Walker (RW) form, as we
now demonstrate.
1
Spatial isotropy implies spherical symmetry. Choosing a point as an origin, and using
coordinates (r, θ, φ) around this point, the spatial line element must take the form

2
= dr
2
+f
2
(r)


2
+ sin
2
θdφ
2

, (1)
where f(r) is a real function, which, if the metric is to be nonsingular at the origin, obeys
f(r) ∼ r as r →0.
Now, consider figure 2.1 in the θ = π/2 plane. In this figure DH = HE = r, both DE
and γ are small and HA = x. Note that the two angles labeled γ are equal because of
homogeneity and isotropy. Now, note that
EF EF

= f(2r)γ = f(r)β . (2)
Also
AC = γf(r +x) = AB +BC = γf(r −x) + βf(x) . (3)
Using (2) to eliminate β/γ, rearranging (3), dividing by 2x and taking the limit x → ∞
yields
df
dr
=
f(2r)
2f(r)
. (4)
1
One of the authors has a sentimental attachment to the following argument, since he learned it in his
first cosmology course [16].
5
We must solve this subject to f(r) ∼ r as r →0. It is easy to check that if f(r) is a solution
then f(r/α) is a solution for constant α. Also, r, sin r and sinh r are all solutions. Assuming
analyticity and writing f(r) as a power series in r it is then easy to check that, up to scaling,
these are the only three possible solutions.
Therefore, the most general spacetime metric consistent with homogeneity and isotropy
is
ds
2
= −dt
2
+a
2
(t)


2
+f
2
(ρ)


2
+ sin
2
θdφ
2

, (5)
where the three possibilities for f(ρ) are
f(ρ) = {sin(ρ), ρ, sinh(ρ)} . (6)
This is a purely geometric fact, independent of the details of general relativity. We have used
spherical polar coordinates (ρ, θ, φ), since spatial isotropy implies spherical symmetry about
every point. The time coordinate t, which is the proper time as measured by a comoving
observer (one at constant spatial coordinates), is referred to as cosmic time, and the function
a(t) is called the scale factor.
There are two other useful forms for the RW metric. First, a simple change of variables
in the radial coordinate yields
ds
2
= −dt
2
+a
2
(t)
¸
dr
2
1 −kr
2
+r
2


2
+ sin
2
θdφ
2

¸
, (7)
where
k =

+1 if f(ρ) = sin(ρ)
0 if f(ρ) = ρ
−1 if f(ρ) = sinh(ρ)
. (8)
Geometrically, k describes the curvature of the spatial sections (slices at constant cosmic
time). k = +1 corresponds to positively curved spatial sections (locally isometric to 3-
spheres); k = 0 corresponds to local flatness, and k = −1 corresponds to negatively curved
(locally hyperbolic) spatial sections. These are all local statements, which should be expected
from a local theory such as GR. The global topology of the spatial sections may be that of
the covering spaces – a 3-sphere, an infinite plane or a 3-hyperboloid – but it need not be,
as topological identifications under freely-acting subgroups of the isometry group of each
manifold are allowed. As a specific example, the k = 0 spatial geometry could apply just as
well to a 3-torus as to an infinite plane.
Note that we have not chosen a normalization such that a
0
= 1. We are not free to
do this and to simultaneously normalize |k| = 1, without including explicit factors of the
current scale factor in the metric. In the flat case, where k = 0, we can safely choose a
0
= 1.
A second change of variables, which may be applied to either (5) or (7), is to transform
to conformal time, τ, via
τ(t) ≡

t
dt

a(t

)
. (9)
6
Figure 2.2: Hubble diagrams (as replotted in [17]) showing the relationship between reces-
sional velocities of distant galaxies and their distances. The left plot shows the original data
of Hubble [18] (and a rather unconvincing straight-line fit through it). To reassure you, the
right plot shows much more recent data [19], using significantly more distant galaxies (note
difference in scale).
Applying this to (7) yields
ds
2
= a
2
(τ)
¸
−dτ
2
+
dr
2
1 −kr
2
+r
2


2
+ sin
2
θdφ
2

¸
, (10)
where we have written a(τ) ≡ a[t(τ)] as is conventional. The conformal time does not
measure the proper time for any particular observer, but it does simplify some calculations.
A particularly useful quantity to define from the scale factor is the Hubble parameter
(sometimes called the Hubble constant), given by
H ≡
˙ a
a
. (11)
The Hubble parameter relates how fast the most distant galaxies are receding from us to
their distance from us via Hubble’s law,
v Hd. (12)
This is the relationship that was discovered by Edwin Hubble, and has been verified to high
accuracy by modern observational methods (see figure 2.2).
7
2.2 Dynamics: The Friedmann Equations
As mentioned, the RW metric is a purely kinematic consequence of requiring homogeneity
and isotropy of our spatial sections. We next turn to dynamics, in the form of differential
equations governing the evolution of the scale factor a(t). These will come from applying
Einstein’s equation,
R
µν

1
2
Rg
µν
= 8πGT
µν
(13)
to the RW metric.
Before diving right in, it is useful to consider the types of energy-momentum tensors T
µν
we will typically encounter in cosmology. For simplicity, and because it is consistent with
much we have observed about the universe, it is often useful to adopt the perfect fluid form
for the energy-momentum tensor of cosmological matter. This form is
T
µν
= (ρ +p)U
µ
U
ν
+pg
µν
, (14)
where U
µ
is the fluid four-velocity, ρ is the energy density in the rest frame of the fluid and p
is the pressure in that same frame. The pressure is necessarily isotropic, for consistency with
the RW metric. Similarly, fluid elements will be comoving in the cosmological rest frame, so
that the normalized four-velocity in the coordinates of (7) will be
U
µ
= (1, 0, 0, 0) . (15)
The energy-momentum tensor thus takes the form
T
µν
=

¸
¸
¸
¸
ρ
pg
ij
¸

, (16)
where g
ij
represents the spatial metric (including the factor of a
2
).
Armed with this simplified description for matter, we are now ready to apply Einstein’s
equation (13) to cosmology. Using (7) and (14), one obtains two equations. The first is
known as the Friedmann equation,
H
2

˙ a
a

2
=
8πG
3
¸
i
ρ
i

k
a
2
, (17)
where an overdot denotes a derivative with respect to cosmic time t and i indexes all different
possible types of energy in the universe. This equation is a constraint equation, in the sense
that we are not allowed to freely specify the time derivative ˙ a; it is determined in terms of
the energy density and curvature. The second equation, which is an evolution equation, is
¨ a
a
+
1
2

˙ a
a

2
= −4πG
¸
i
p
i

k
2a
2
. (18)
8
It is often useful to combine (17) and (18) to obtain the acceleration equation
¨ a
a
= −
4πG
3
¸
i

i
+ 3p
i
) . (19)
In fact, if we know the magnitudes and evolutions of the different energy density compo-
nents ρ
i
, the Friedmann equation (17) is sufficient to solve for the evolution uniquely. The
acceleration equation is conceptually useful, but rarely invoked in calculations.
The Friedmann equation relates the rate of increase of the scale factor, as encoded by
the Hubble parameter, to the total energy density of all matter in the universe. We may use
the Friedmann equation to define, at any given time, a critical energy density,
ρ
c

3H
2
8πG
, (20)
for which the spatial sections must be precisely flat (k = 0). We then define the density
parameter

total

ρ
ρ
c
, (21)
which allows us to relate the total energy density in the universe to its local geometry via

total
> 1 ⇔ k = +1

total
= 1 ⇔ k = 0 (22)

total
< 1 ⇔ k = −1 .
It is often convenient to define the fractions of the critical energy density in each different
component by

i
=
ρ
i
ρ
c
. (23)
Energy conservation is expressed in GR by the vanishing of the covariant divergence of
the energy-momentum tensor,

µ
T
µν
= 0 . (24)
Applying this to our assumptions – the RW metric (7) and perfect-fluid energy-momentum
tensor (14) – yields a single energy-conservation equation,
˙ ρ + 3H(ρ +p) = 0 . (25)
This equation is actually not independent of the Friedmann and acceleration equations, but
is required for consistency. It implies that the expansion of the universe (as specified by H)
can lead to local changes in the energy density. Note that there is no notion of conservation
of “total energy,” as energy can be interchanged between matter and the spacetime geometry.
One final piece of information is required before we can think about solving our cosmo-
logical equations: how the pressure and energy density are related to each other. Within the
fluid approximation used here, we may assume that the pressure is a single-valued function of
9
the energy density p = p(ρ). It is often convenient to define an equation of state parameter,
w, by
p = wρ . (26)
This should be thought of as the instantaneous definition of the parameter w; it need repre-
sent the full equation of state, which would be required to calculate the behavior of fluctu-
ations. Nevertheless, many useful cosmological matter sources do obey this relation with a
constant value of w. For example, w = 0 corresponds to pressureless matter, or dust – any
collection of massive non-relativistic particles would qualify. Similarly, w = 1/3 corresponds
to a gas of radiation, whether it be actual photons or other highly relativistic species.
A constant w leads to a great simplification in solving our equations. In particular,
using (25), we see that the energy density evolves with the scale factor according to
ρ(a) ∝
1
a(t)
3(1+w)
. (27)
Note that the behaviors of dust (w = 0) and radiation (w = 1/3) are consistent with what
we would have obtained by more heuristic reasoning. Consider a fixed comoving volume of
the universe - i.e. a volume specified by fixed values of the coordinates, from which one may
obtain the physical volume at a given time t by multiplying by a(t)
3
. Given a fixed number
of dust particles (of mass m) within this comoving volume, the energy density will then scale
just as the physical volume, i.e. as a(t)
−3
, in agreement with (27), with w = 0.
To make a similar argument for radiation, first note that the expansion of the universe
(the increase of a(t) with time) results in a shift to longer wavelength λ, or a redshift, of
photons propagating in this background. A photon emitted with wavelength λ
e
at a time t
e
,
at which the scale factor is a
e
≡ a(t
e
) is observed today (t = t
0
, with scale factor a
0
≡ a(t
0
))
at wavelength λ
o
, obeying
λ
o
λ
e
=
a
0
a
e
≡ 1 +z . (28)
The redshift z is often used in place of the scale factor. Because of the redshift, the energy
density in a fixed number of photons in a fixed comoving volume drops with the physical
volume (as for dust) and by an extra factor of the scale factor as the expansion of the universe
stretches the wavelengths of light. Thus, the energy density of radiation will scale as a(t)
−4
,
once again in agreement with (27), with w = 1/3.
Thus far, we have not included a cosmological constant Λ in the gravitational equations.
This is because it is equivalent to treat any cosmological constant as a component of the
energy density in the universe. In fact, adding a cosmological constant Λ to Einstein’s
equation is equivalent to including an energy-momentum tensor of the form
T
µν
= −
Λ
8πG
g
µν
. (29)
This is simply a perfect fluid with energy-momentum tensor (14) with
ρ
Λ
=
Λ
8πG
p
Λ
= −ρ
Λ
, (30)
10
so that the equation-of-state parameter is
w
Λ
= −1 . (31)
This implies that the energy density is constant,
ρ
Λ
= constant . (32)
Thus, this energy is constant throughout spacetime; we say that the cosmological constant
is equivalent to vacuum energy.
Similarly, it is sometimes useful to think of any nonzero spatial curvature as yet another
component of the cosmological energy budget, obeying
ρ
curv
= −
3k
8πGa
2
p
curv
=
k
8πGa
2
, (33)
so that
w
curv
= −1/3 . (34)
It is not an energy density, of course; ρ
curv
is simply a convenient way to keep track of how
much energy density is lacking, in comparison to a flat universe.
2.3 Flat Universes
It is much easier to find exact solutions to cosmological equations of motion when k = 0.
Fortunately for us, nowadays we are able to appeal to more than mathematical simplicity to
make this choice. Indeed, as we shall see in later lectures, modern cosmological observations,
in particular precision measurements of the cosmic microwave background, show the universe
today to be extremely spatially flat.
In the case of flat spatial sections and a constant equation of state parameter w, we may
exactly solve the Friedmann equation (27) to obtain
a(t) = a
0

t
t
0

2/3(1+w)
, (35)
where a
0
is the scale factor today, unless w = −1, in which case one obtains a(t) ∝ e
Ht
.
Applying this result to some of our favorite energy density sources yields table 1.
Note that the matter- and radiation-dominated flat universes begin with a = 0; this is a
singularity, known as the Big Bang. We can easily calculate the age of such a universe:
t
0
=

1
0
da
aH(a)
=
2
3(1 +w)H
0
. (36)
Unless w is close to −1, it is often useful to approximate this answer by
t
0
∼ H
−1
0
. (37)
It is for this reason that the quantity H
−1
0
is known as the Hubble time, and provides a useful
estimate of the time scale for which the universe has been around.
11
Type of Energy ρ(a) a(t)
Dust a
−3
t
2/3
Radiation a
−4
t
1/2
Cosmological Constant constant e
Ht
Table 1: A summary of the behaviors of the most important sources of energy density in
cosmology. The behavior of the scale factor applies to the case of a flat universe; the behavior
of the energy densities is perfectly general.
2.4 Including Curvature
It is true that we know observationally that the universe today is flat to a high degree
of accuracy. However, it is instructive, and useful when considering early cosmology, to
consider how the solutions we have already identified change when curvature is included.
Since we include this mainly for illustration we will focus on the separate cases of dust-filled
and radiation-filled FRW models with zero cosmological constant. This calculation is an
example of one that is made much easier by working in terms of conformal time τ.
Let us first consider models in which the energy density is dominated by matter (w = 0).
In terms of conformal time the Einstein equations become
3(k +h
2
) = 8πGρa
2
k +h
2
+ 2h

= 0 , (38)
where a prime denotes a derivative with respect to conformal time and h(τ) ≡ a

/a. These
equations are then easily solved for h(τ) giving
h(τ) =

cot(τ/2) k = 1
2/τ k = 0
coth(τ/2) k = −1
. (39)
This then yields
a(τ) ∝

1 −cos(τ) k = 1
τ
2
/2 k = 0
cosh(τ) −1 k = −1
. (40)
One may use this to derive the connection between cosmic time and conformal time,
which here is
t(τ) ∝

τ −sin(τ) k = 1
τ
3
/6 k = 0
sinh(τ) −τ k = −1
. (41)
Next we consider models dominated by radiation (w = 1/3). In terms of conformal time
the Einstein equations become
3(k +h
2
) = 8πGρa
2
k +h
2
+ 2h

= −
8πGρ
3
a
2
. (42)
12
Solving as we did above yields
h(τ) =

cot(τ) k = 1
1/τ k = 0
coth(τ) k = −1
, (43)
a(τ) ∝

sin(τ) k = 1
τ k = 0
sinh(τ) k = −1
, (44)
and
t(τ) ∝

1 −cos(τ) k = 1
τ
2
/2 k = 0
cosh(τ) −1 k = −1
. (45)
It is straightforward to interpret these solutions by examining the behavior of the scale
factor a(τ); the qualitative features are the same for matter- or radiation-domination. In
both cases, the universes with positive curvature (k = +1) expand from an initial singularity
with a = 0, and later recollapse again. The initial singularity is the Big Bang, while the final
singularity is sometimes called the Big Crunch. The universes with zero or negative curvature
begin at the Big Bang and expand forever. This behavior is not inevitable, however; we will
see below how it can be altered by the presence of vacuum energy.
2.5 Horizons
One of the most crucial concepts to master about FRW models is the existence of horizons.
This concept will prove useful in a variety of places in these lectures, but most importantly
in understanding the shortcomings of what we are terming the standard cosmology.
Suppose an emitter, e, sends a light signal to an observer, o, who is at r = 0. Setting
θ = constant and φ = constant and working in conformal time, for such radial null rays we
have τ
o
−τ = r. In particular this means that
τ
o
−τ
e
= r
e
. (46)
Now suppose τ
e
is bounded below by ¯ τ
e
; for example, ¯ τ
e
might represent the Big Bang
singularity. Then there exists a maximum distance to which the observer can see, known as
the particle horizon distance, given by
r
ph

o
) = τ
o
− ¯ τ
e
. (47)
The physical meaning of this is illustrated in figure 2.3.
Similarly, suppose τ
o
is bounded above by ¯ τ
o
. Then there exists a limit to spacetime
events which can be influenced by the emitter. This limit is known as the event horizon
distance, given by
r
eh

o
) = ¯ τ
o
−τ
e
, (48)
13
o
e
τ=τ
τ=τ
o
o
r=0
r
τ
Particles already seen
Particles not yet seen
(τ )
ph
−r r
ph
(τ )
o
Figure 2.3: Particle horizons arise when the past light cone of an observer o terminates at a
finite conformal time. Then there will be worldlines of other particles which do not intersect
the past of o, meaning that they were never in causal contact.
e
τ=τ
o
emitter at
Receives message from
r
e
Never receives message
τ
Figure 2.4: Event horizons arise when the future light cone of an observer o terminates at a
finite conformal time. Then there will be worldlines of other particles which do not intersect
the future of o, meaning that they cannot possibly influence each other.
14
with physical meaning illustrated in figure 2.4.
These horizon distances may be converted to proper horizon distances at cosmic time t,
for example
d
H
≡ a(τ)r
ph
= a(τ)(τ − ¯ τ
e
) = a(t)

t
t
e
dt

a(t

)
. (49)
Just as the Hubble time H
−1
0
provides a rough guide for the age of the universe, the Hubble
distance cH
−1
0
provides a rough estimate of the horizon distance in a matter- or radiation-
dominated universe.
2.6 Geometry, Destiny and Dark Energy
In subsequent lectures we will use what we have learned here to extrapolate back to some of
the earliest times in the universe. We will discuss the thermodynamics of the early universe,
and the resulting interdependency between particle physics and cosmology. However, before
that, we would like to explore some implications for the future of the universe.
For a long time in cosmology, it was quite commonplace to refer to the three possible
geometries consistent with homogeneity and isotropy as closed (k = 1), open (k = −1) and
flat (k = 0). There were two reasons for this. First, if one considered only the universal
covering spaces, then a positively curved universe would be a 3-sphere, which has finite
volume and hence is closed, while a negatively curved universe would be the hyperbolic
3-manifold H
3
, which has infinite volume and hence is open.
Second, with dust and radiation as sources of energy density, universes with greater than
the critical density would ultimately collapse, while those with less than the critical density
would expand forever, with flat universes lying on the border between the two. for the case
of pure dust-filled universes this is easily seen from (40) and (44).
As we have already mentioned, GR is a local theory, so the first of these points was never
really valid. For example, there exist perfectly good compact hyperbolic manifolds, of finite
volume, which are consistent with all our cosmological assumptions. However, the connection
between geometry and destiny implied by the second point above was quite reasonable as
long as dust and radiation were the only types of energy density relevant in the late universe.
In recent years it has become clear that the dominant component of energy density in the
present universe is neither dust nor radiation, but rather is dark energy. This component
is characterized by an equation of state parameter w < −1/3. We will have a lot more to
say about this component (including the observational evidence for it) in the next lecture,
but for now we would just like to focus on the way in which it has completely separated our
concepts of geometry and destiny.
For simplicity, let’s focus on what happens if the only energy density in the universe is
a cosmological constant, with w = −1. In this case, the Friedmann equation may be solved
15
for any value of the spatial curvature parameter k. If Λ > 0 then the solutions are
a(t)
a
0
=

cosh

Λ
3
t

k = +1
exp

Λ
3
t

k = 0
sinh

Λ
3
t

k = −1
, (50)
where we have encountered the k = 0 case earlier. It is immediately clear that, in the
t → ∞ limit, all solutions expand exponentially, independently of the spatial curvature. In
fact, these solutions are all exactly the same spacetime - de Sitter space - just in different
coordinate systems. These features of de Sitter space will resurface crucially when we discuss
inflation. However, the point here is that the universe clearly expands forever in these
spacetimes, irrespective of the value of the spatial curvature. Note, however, that not all of
the solutions in (50) actually cover all of de Sitter space; the k = 0 and k = −1 solutions
represent coordinate patches which only cover part of the manifold.
For completeness, let us complete the description of spaces with a cosmological constant
by considering the case Λ < 0. This spacetime is called Anti-de Sitter space (AdS) and it
should be clear from the Friedmann equation that such a spacetime can only exist in a space
with spatial curvature k = −1. The corresponding solution for the scale factor is
a(t) = a
0
sin

¸


Λ
3
t
¸

. (51)
Once again, this solution does not cover all of AdS; for a more complete discussion, see [20].
3 Our Universe Today and Dark Energy
In the previous lecture we set up the tools required to analyze the kinematics and dynamics
of homogeneous and isotropic cosmologies in general relativity. In this lecture we turn to the
actual universe in which we live, and discuss the remarkable properties cosmologists have
discovered in the last ten years. Most remarkable among them is the fact that the universe
is dominated by a uniformly-distributed and slowly-varying source of “dark energy,” which
may be a vacuum energy (cosmological constant), a dynamical field, or something even more
dramatic.
3.1 Matter: Ordinary and Dark
In the years before we knew that dark energy was an important constituent of the universe,
and before observations of galaxy distributions and CMB anisotropies had revolutionized the
study of structure in the universe, observational cosmology sought to measure two numbers:
the Hubble constant H
0
and the matter density parameter Ω
M
. Both of these quantities
remain undeniably important, even though we have greatly broadened the scope of what we
16
hope to measure. The Hubble constant is often parameterized in terms of a dimensionless
quantity h as
H
0
= 100h km/sec/Mpc . (52)
After years of effort, determinations of this number seem to have zeroed in on a largely
agreed-upon value; the Hubble Space Telescope Key Project on the extragalactic distance
scale [21] finds
h = 0.71 ±0.06 , (53)
which is consistent with other methods [22], and what we will assume henceforth.
For years, determinations of Ω
M
based on dynamics of galaxies and clusters have yielded
values between approximately 0.1 and 0.4, noticeably smaller than the critical density. The
last several years have witnessed a number of new methods being brought to bear on the
question; here we sketch some of the most important ones.
The traditional method to estimate the mass density of the universe is to “weigh” a cluster
of galaxies, divide by its luminosity, and extrapolate the result to the universe as a whole.
Although clusters are not representative samples of the universe, they are sufficiently large
that such a procedure has a chance of working. Studies applying the virial theorem to cluster
dynamics have typically obtained values Ω
M
= 0.2 ±0.1 [23, 24, 25]. Although it is possible
that the global value of M/L differs appreciably from its value in clusters, extrapolations
from small scales do not seem to reach the critical density [26]. New techniques to weigh the
clusters, including gravitational lensing of background galaxies [27] and temperature profiles
of the X-ray gas [28], while not yet in perfect agreement with each other, reach essentially
similar conclusions.
Rather than measuring the mass relative to the luminosity density, which may be different
inside and outside clusters, we can also measure it with respect to the baryon density [29],
which is very likely to have the same value in clusters as elsewhere in the universe, simply
because there is no way to segregate the baryons from the dark matter on such large scales.
Most of the baryonic mass is in the hot intracluster gas [30], and the fraction f
gas
of total
mass in this form can be measured either by direct observation of X-rays from the gas [31]
or by distortions of the microwave background by scattering off hot electrons (the Sunyaev-
Zeldovich effect) [32], typically yielding 0.1 ≤ f
gas
≤ 0.2. Since primordial nucleosynthesis
provides a determination of Ω
B
∼ 0.04, these measurements imply

M
= Ω
B
/f
gas
= 0.3 ±0.1 , (54)
consistent with the value determined from mass to light ratios.
Another handle on the density parameter in matter comes from properties of clusters
at high redshift. The very existence of massive clusters has been used to argue in favor of

M
∼ 0.2 [33], and the lack of appreciable evolution of clusters from high redshifts to the
present [34, 35] provides additional evidence that Ω
M
< 1.0. On the other hand, a recent
measurement of the relationship between the temperature and luminosity of X-ray clusters
measured with the XMM-Newton satellite [36] has been interpreted as evidence for Ω
M
near
17
unity. This last result seems at odds with a variety of other determinations, so we should
keep a careful watch for further developments in this kind of study.
The story of large-scale motions is more ambiguous. The peculiar velocities of galaxies are
sensitive to the underlying mass density, and thus to Ω
M
, but also to the “bias” describing
the relative amplitude of fluctuations in galaxies and mass [24, 37]. Nevertheless, recent
advances in very large redshift surveys have led to relatively firm determinations of the mass
density; the 2df survey, for example, finds 0.1 ≤ Ω
M
≤ 0.4 [38].
Finally, the matter density parameter can be extracted from measurements of the power
spectrum of density fluctuations (see for example [39]). As with the CMB, predicting the
power spectrum requires both an assumption of the correct theory and a specification of a
number of cosmological parameters. In simple models (e.g., with only cold dark matter and
baryons, no massive neutrinos), the spectrum can be fit (once the amplitude is normalized) by
a single “shape parameter”, which is found to be equal to Γ = Ω
M
h. (For more complicated
models see [40].) Observations then yield Γ ∼ 0.25, or Ω
M
∼ 0.36. For a more careful
comparison between models and observations, see [41, 42, 43, 44].
Thus, we have a remarkable convergence on values for the density parameter in matter:
0.1 ≤ Ω
M
≤ 0.4 . (55)
As we will see below, this value is in excellent agreement with that which we would determine
indirectly from combinations of other measurements.
As you are undoubtedly aware, however, matter comes in different forms; the matter we
infer from its gravitational influence need not be the same kind of ordinary matter we are
familiar with from our experience on Earth. By “ordinary matter” we mean anything made
from atoms and their constituents (protons, neutrons, and electrons); this would include all
of the stars, planets, gas and dust in the universe, immediately visible or otherwise. Occa-
sionally such matter is referred to as “baryonic matter”, where “baryons” include protons,
neutrons, and related particles (strongly interacting particles carrying a conserved quantum
number known as “baryon number”). Of course electrons are conceptually an important
part of ordinary matter, but by mass they are negligible compared to protons and neutrons;
the mass of ordinary matter comes overwhelmingly from baryons.
Ordinary baryonic matter, it turns out, is not nearly enough to account for the observed
matter density. Our current best estimates for the baryon density [45, 46] yield

b
= 0.04 ±0.02 , (56)
where these error bars are conservative by most standards. This determination comes from
a variety of methods: direct counting of baryons (the least precise method), consistency
with the CMB power spectrum (discussed later in this lecture), and agreement with the
predictions of the abundances of light elements for Big-Bang nucleosynthesis (discussed in
the next lecture). Most of the matter density must therefore be in the form of non-baryonic
dark matter, which we will abbreviate to simply “dark matter”. (Baryons can be dark,
but it is increasingly common to reserve the terminology for the non-baryonic component.)
18
Essentially every known particle in the Standard Model of particle physics has been ruled out
as a candidate for this dark matter. One of the few things we know about the dark matter
is that is must be “cold” — not only is it non-relativistic today, but it must have been that
way for a very long time. If the dark matter were “hot”, it would have free-streamed out
of overdense regions, suppressing the formation of galaxies. The other thing we know about
cold dark matter (CDM) is that it should interact very weakly with ordinary matter, so as to
have escaped detection thus far. In the next lecture we will discuss some currently popular
candidates for cold dark matter.
3.2 Supernovae and the Accelerating Universe
The great story of fin de siecle cosmology was the discovery that matter does not domi-
nate the universe; we need some form of dark energy to explain a variety of observations.
The first direct evidence for this finding came from studies using Type Ia supernovae as
“standardizable candles,” which we now examine. For more detailed discussion of both the
observational situation and the attendant theoretical problems, see [48, 49, 8, 50, 51, 15].
Supernovae are rare — perhaps a few per century in a Milky-Way-sized galaxy — but
modern telescopes allow observers to probe very deeply into small regions of the sky, covering
a very large number of galaxies in a single observing run. Supernovae are also bright,
and Type Ia’s in particular all seem to be of nearly uniform intrinsic luminosity (absolute
magnitude M ∼ −19.5, typically comparable to the brightness of the entire host galaxy in
which they appear) [52]. They can therefore be detected at high redshifts (z ∼ 1), allowing
in principle a good handle on cosmological effects [53, 54].
The fact that all SNe Ia are of similar intrinsic luminosities fits well with our under-
standing of these events as explosions which occur when a white dwarf, onto which mass is
gradually accreting from a companion star, crosses the Chandrasekhar limit and explodes.
(It should be noted that our understanding of supernova explosions is in a state of develop-
ment, and theoretical models are not yet able to accurately reproduce all of the important
features of the observed events. See [55, 56, 57] for some recent work.) The Chandrasekhar
limit is a nearly-universal quantity, so it is not a surprise that the resulting explosions are of
nearly-constant luminosity. However, there is still a scatter of approximately 40% in the peak
brightness observed in nearby supernovae, which can presumably be traced to differences in
the composition of the white dwarf atmospheres. Even if we could collect enough data that
statistical errors could be reduced to a minimum, the existence of such an uncertainty would
cast doubt on any attempts to study cosmology using SNe Ia as standard candles.
Fortunately, the observed differences in peak luminosities of SNe Ia are very closely
correlated with observed differences in the shapes of their light curves: dimmer SNe decline
more rapidly after maximum brightness, while brighter SNe decline more slowly [58, 59, 60].
There is thus a one-parameter family of events, and measuring the behavior of the light curve
along with the apparent luminosity allows us to largely correct for the intrinsic differences
in brightness, reducing the scatter from 40% to less than 15% — sufficient precision to
distinguish between cosmological models. (It seems likely that the single parameter can
19
Figure 3.5: Hubble diagram from the Supernova Cosmology Project, as of 2003 [70].
be traced to the amount of
56
Ni produced in the supernova explosion; more nickel implies
both a higher peak luminosity and a higher temperature and thus opacity, leading to a slower
decline. It would be an exaggeration, however, to claim that this behavior is well-understood
theoretically.)
Following pioneering work reported in [61], two independent groups undertook searches
for distant supernovae in order to measure cosmological parameters: the High-Z Supernova
Team [62, 63, 64, 65, 66], and the Supernova Cosmology Project [67, 68, 69, 70]. A plot of
redshift vs. corrected apparent magnitude from the original SCP data is shown in Figure 3.5.
The data are much better fit by a universe dominated by a cosmological constant than by a
flat matter-dominated model. In fact the supernova results alone allow a substantial range
of possible values of Ω
M
and Ω
Λ
; however, if we think we know something about one of these
parameters, the other will be tightly constrained. In particular, if Ω
M
∼ 0.3, we obtain

Λ
∼ 0.7 . (57)
20
This corresponds to a vacuum energy density
ρ
Λ
∼ 10
−8
erg/cm
3
∼ (10
−3
eV)
4
. (58)
Thus, the supernova studies have provided direct evidence for a nonzero value for Einstein’s
cosmological constant.
Given the significance of these results, it is natural to ask what level of confidence we
should have in them. There are a number of potential sources of systematic error which
have been considered by the two teams; see the original papers [63, 64, 69] for a thorough
discussion. Most impressively, the universe implied by combining the supernova results with
direct determinations of the matter density is spectacularly confirmed by measurements
of the cosmic microwave background, as we discuss in the next section. Needless to say,
however, it would be very useful to have a better understanding of both the theoretical basis
for Type Ia luminosities, and experimental constraints on possible systematic errors. Future
experiments, including a proposed satellite dedicated to supernova cosmology [71], will both
help us improve our understanding of the physics of supernovae and allow a determination
of the distance/redshift relation to sufficient precision to distinguish between the effects of
a cosmological constant and those of more mundane astrophysical phenomena.
3.3 The Cosmic Microwave Background
Most of the radiation we observe in the universe today is in the form of an almost isotropic
blackbody spectrum, with temperature approximately 2.7K, known as the Cosmic Microwave
Background (CMB). The small angular fluctuations in temperature of the CMB reveal a great
deal about the constituents of the universe, as we now discuss.
We have mentioned several times the way in which a radiation gas evolves in and sources
the evolution of an expanding FRW universe. It should be clear from the differing evolution
laws for radiation and dust that as one considers earlier and earlier times in the universe,
with smaller and smaller scale factors, the ratio of the energy density in radiation to that in
matter grows proportionally to 1/a(t). Furthermore, even particles which are now massive
and contribute to matter used to be hotter, and at sufficiently early times were relativistic,
and thus contributed to radiation. Therefore, the early universe was dominated by radiation.
At early times the CMB photons were easily energetic enough to ionize hydrogen atoms
and therefore the universe was filled with a charged plasma (and hence was opaque). This
phase lasted until the photons redshifted enough to allow protons and electrons to combine,
during the era of recombination. Shortly after this time, the photons decoupled from the
now-neutral plasma and free-streamed through the universe.
In fact, the concept of an expanding universe provides us with a clear explanation of the
origin of the CMB. Blackbody radiation is emitted by bodies in thermal equilibrium. The
present universe is certainly not in this state, and so without an evolving spacetime we would
have no explanation for the origin of this radiation. However, at early times, the density and
energy densities in the universe were high enough that matter was in approximate thermal
equilibrium at each point in space, yielding a blackbody spectrum at early times.
21
We will have more to say about thermodynamics in the expanding universe in our next
lecture. However, we should point out one crucial thermodynamic fact about the CMB.
A blackbody distribution, such as that generated in the early universe, is such that at
temperature T, the energy flux in the frequency range [ν, ν + dν] is given by the Planck
distribution
P(ν, T)dν = 8πh

ν
c

3
1
e
hν/kT
−1
dν , (59)
where h is Planck’s constant and k is the Boltzmann constant. Under a rescaling ν → αν,
with α=constant, the shape of the spectrum is unaltered if T →T/α. We have already seen
that wavelengths are stretched with the cosmic expansion, and therefore that frequencies
will scale inversely due to the same effect. We therefore conclude that the effect of cosmic
expansion on an initial blackbody spectrum is to retain its blackbody nature, but just at
lower and lower temperatures,
T ∝ 1/a . (60)
This is what we mean when we refer to the universe cooling as it expands. (Note that this
strict scaling may be altered if energy is dumped into the radiation background during a
phase transition, as we discuss in the next lecture.)
The CMB is not a perfectly isotropic radiation bath. Deviations from isotropy at the
level of one part in 10
5
have developed over the last decade into one of our premier precision
observational tools in cosmology. The small temperature anisotropies on the sky are usually
analyzed by decomposing the signal into spherical harmonics via
∆T
T
=
¸
l,m
a
lm
Y
lm
(θ, φ) , (61)
where a
lm
are expansion coefficients and θ and φ are spherical polar angles on the sky.
Defining the power spectrum by
C
l
= |a
lm
|
2
, (62)
it is conventional to plot the quantity l(l + 1)C
l
against l in a famous plot that is usually
referred to as the CMB power spectrum. An example is shown in figure (3.6), which shows
the measurements of the CMB anisotropy from the recent WMAP satellite, as well as a
theoretical model (solid line) that fits the data rather well.
These fluctuations in the microwave background are useful to cosmologists for many
reasons. To understand why, we must comment briefly on why they occur in the first place.
Matter today in the universe is clustered into stars, galaxies, clusters and superclusters of
galaxies. Our understanding of how large scale structure developed is that initially small
density perturbations in our otherwise homogeneous universe grew through gravitational
instability into the objects we observe today. Such a picture requires that from place to place
there were small variations in the density of matter at the time that the CMB first decoupled
from the photon-baryon plasma. Subsequent to this epoch, CMB photons propagated freely
through the universe, nearly unaffected by anything except the cosmic expansion itself.
22
Figure 3.6: The CMB power spectrum from the WMAP satellite [72]. The error bars on this
plot are 1-σ and the solid line represents the best-fit cosmological model [73]. Also shown is
the correlation between the temperature anisotropies and the (E-mode) polarization.
23
However, at the time of their decoupling, different photons were released from regions of
space with slightly different gravitational potentials. Since photons redshift as they climb
out of gravitational potentials, photons from some regions redshift slightly more than those
from other regions, giving rise to a small temperature anisotropy in the CMB observed
today. On smaller scales, the evolution of the plasma has led to intrinsic differences in the
temperature from point to point. In this sense the CMB carries with it a fingerprint of the
initial conditions that ultimately gave rise to structure in the universe.
One very important piece of data that the CMB fluctuations give us is the value of Ω
total
.
Consider an overdense region of size R, which therefore contracts under self-gravity over a
timescale R (recall c = 1). If R H
−1
CMB
then the region will not have had time to collapse
over the lifetime of the universe at last scattering. If R H
−1
CMB
then collapse will be well
underway at last scattering, matter will have had time to fall into the resulting potential
well and cause a resulting rise in temperature which, in turn, gives rise to a restoring force
from photon pressure, which acts to damps out the inhomogeneity.
Clearly, therefore, the maximum anisotropy will be on a scale which has had just enough
time to collapse, but not had enough time to equilibrate - R ∼ H
−1
CMB
. This means that
we expect to see a peak in the CMB power spectrum at an angular size corresponding to
the horizon size at last scattering. Since we know the physical size of the horizon at last
scattering, this provides us with a ruler on the sky. The corresponding angular scale will
then depend on the spatial geometry of the universe. For a flat universe (k = 0, Ω
total
= 1)
we expect a peak at l 220 and, as can be seen in figure (3.6), this is in excellent agreement
with observations.
Beyond this simple heuristic description, careful analysis of all of the features of the CMB
power spectrum (the positions and heights of each peak and trough) provide constraints on
essentially all of the cosmological parameters. As an example we consider the results from
WMAP [73]. For the total density of the universe they find
0.98 ≤ Ω
total
≤ 1.08 (63)
at 95% confidence – as mentioned, strong evidence for a flat universe. Nevertheless, there
is still some degeneracy in the parameters, and much tighter constraints on the remaining
values can be derived by assuming either an exactly flat universe, or a reasonable value of
the Hubble constant. When for example we assume a flat universe, we can derive values for
the Hubble constant, matter density (which then implies the vacuum energy density), and
baryon density:
h = 0.72 ±0.05

M
= 1 −Ω
Λ
= 0.29 ±0.07

B
= 0.047 ±0.006 .
If we instead assume that the Hubble constant is given by the value determined by the HST
key project (53), we can derive separate tight constraints on Ω
M
and Ω
Λ
; these are shown
graphically in Figure 3.7, along with constraints from the supernova experiments.
24
Figure 3.7: Observational constraints in the Ω
M
-Ω
Λ
plane. The wide green contours represent
constraints from supernovae, the vertical blue contours represent constraints from the 2dF
galaxy survey, and the small orange contours represent constraints from WMAP observations
of CMB anisotropies when a prior on the Hubble parameter is included. Courtesy of Licia
Verde; see [74] for details.
Taking all of the data together, we obtain a remarkably consistent picture of the current
constituents of our universe:

B
= 0.04

DM
= 0.26

Λ
= 0.7 . (64)
Our sense of accomplishment at having measured these numbers is substantial, although it
is somewhat tempered by the realization that we don’t understand any of them. The baryon
density is mysterious due to the asymmetry between baryons and antibaryons; as far as dark
matter goes, of course, we have never detected it directly and only have promising ideas as
to what it might be. Both of these issues will be discussed in the next lecture. The biggest
mystery is the vacuum energy; we now turn to an exploration of why it is mysterious and
what kinds of mechanisms might be responsible for its value.
25
3.4 The Cosmological Constant Problem(s)
In classical general relativity the cosmological constant Λ is a completely free parameter. It
has dimensions of [length]
−2
(while the energy density ρ
Λ
has units [energy/volume]), and
hence defines a scale, while general relativity is otherwise scale-free. Indeed, from purely
classical considerations, we can’t even say whether a specific value of Λ is “large” or “small”;
it is simply a constant of nature we should go out and determine through experiment.
The introduction of quantum mechanics changes this story somewhat. For one thing,
Planck’s constant allows us to define the reduced Planck mass M
p
∼ 10
18
GeV, as well as
the reduced Planck length
L
P
= (8πG)
1/2
∼ 10
−32
cm . (65)
Hence, there is a natural expectation for the scale of the cosmological constant, namely
Λ
(guess)
∼ L
−2
P
, (66)
or, phrased as an energy density,
ρ
(guess)
vac
∼ M
4
P
∼ (10
18
GeV)
4
∼ 10
112
erg/cm
3
. (67)
We can partially justify this guess by thinking about quantum fluctuations in the vacuum.
At all energies probed by experiment to date, the world is accurately described as a set of
quantum fields (at higher energies it may become strings or something else). If we take
the Fourier transform of a free quantum field, each mode of fixed wavelength behaves like a
simple harmonic oscillator. (“Free” means “noninteracting”; for our purposes this is a very
good approximation.) As we know from elementary quantum mechanics, the ground-state
or zero-point energy of an harmonic oscillator with potential V (x) =
1
2
ω
2
x
2
is E
0
=
1
2
¯ hω.
Thus, each mode of a quantum field contributes to the vacuum energy, and the net result
should be an integral over all of the modes. Unfortunately this integral diverges, so the
vacuum energy appears to be infinite. However, the infinity arises from the contribution of
modes with very small wavelengths; perhaps it was a mistake to include such modes, since
we don’t really know what might happen at such scales. To account for our ignorance, we
could introduce a cutoff energy, above which ignore any potential contributions, and hope
that a more complete theory will eventually provide a physical justification for doing so. If
this cutoff is at the Planck scale, we recover the estimate (67).
The strategy of decomposing a free field into individual modes and assigning a zero-
point energy to each one really only makes sense in a flat spacetime background. In curved
spacetime we can still “renormalize” the vacuum energy, relating the classical parameter to
the quantum value by an infinite constant. After renormalization, the vacuum energy is
completely arbitrary, just as it was in the original classical theory. But when we use general
relativity we are really using an effective field theory to describe a certain limit of quantum
gravity. In the context of effective field theory, if a parameter has dimensions [mass]
n
, we
expect the corresponding mass parameter to be driven up to the scale at which the effective
description breaks down. Hence, if we believe classical general relativity up to the Planck
scale, we would expect the vacuum energy to be given by our original guess (67).
26
However, we claim to have measured the vacuum energy (58). The observed value is
somewhat discrepant with our theoretical estimate:
ρ
(obs)
vac
∼ 10
−120
ρ
(guess)
vac
. (68)
This is the famous 120-orders-of-magnitude discrepancy that makes the cosmological con-
stant problem such a glaring embarrassment. Of course, it is a little unfair to emphasize the
factor of 10
120
, which depends on the fact that energy density has units of [energy]
4
. We can
express the vacuum energy in terms of a mass scale,
ρ
vac
= M
4
vac
, (69)
so our observational result is
M
(obs)
vac
∼ 10
−3
eV . (70)
The discrepancy is thus
M
(obs)
vac
∼ 10
−30
M
(guess)
vac
. (71)
We should think of the cosmological constant problem as a discrepancy of 30 orders of
magnitude in energy scale.
In addition to the fact that it is very small compared to its natural value, the vacuum
energy presents an additional puzzle: the coincidence between the observed vacuum energy
and the current matter density. Our best-fit universe (64) features vacuum and matter
densities of the same order of magnitude, but the ratio of these quantities changes rapidly
as the universe expands:

Λ

M
=
ρ
Λ
ρ
M
∝ a
3
. (72)
As a consequence, at early times the vacuum energy was negligible in comparison to matter
and radiation, while at late times matter and radiation are negligible. There is only a brief
epoch of the universe’s history during which it would be possible to witness the transition
from domination by one type of component to another.
To date, there are not any especially promising approaches to calculating the vacuum
energy and getting the right answer; it is nevertheless instructive to consider the example of
supersymmetry, which relates to the cosmological constant problem in an interesting way.
Supersymmetry posits that for each fermionic degree of freedom there is a matching bosonic
degree of freedom, and vice-versa. By “matching” we mean, for example, that the spin-1/2
electron must be accompanied by a spin-0 “selectron” with the same mass and charge. The
good news is that, while bosonic fields contribute a positive vacuum energy, for fermions the
contribution is negative. Hence, if degrees of freedom exactly match, the net vacuum energy
sums to zero. Supersymmetry is thus an example of a theory, other than gravity, where the
absolute zero-point of energy is a meaningful concept. (This can be traced to the fact that
supersymmetry is a spacetime symmetry, relating particles of different spins.)
We do not, however, live in a supersymmetric state; there is no selectron with the same
mass and charge as an electron, or we would have noticed it long ago. If supersymmetry exists
27
in nature, it must be broken at some scale M
susy
. In a theory with broken supersymmetry,
the vacuum energy is not expected to vanish, but to be of order
M
vac
∼ M
susy
, (theory) (73)
with ρ
vac
= M
4
vac
. What should M
susy
be? One nice feature of supersymmetry is that it helps
us understand the hierarchy problem – why the scale of electroweak symmetry breaking is so
much smaller than the scales of quantum gravity or grand unification. For supersymmetry
to be relevant to the hierarchy problem, we need the supersymmetry-breaking scale to be
just above the electroweak scale, or
M
susy
∼ 10
3
GeV . (74)
In fact, this is very close to the experimental bound, and there is good reason to believe
that supersymmetry will be discovered soon at Fermilab or CERN, if it is connected to
electroweak physics.
Unfortunately, we are left with a sizable discrepancy between theory and observation:
M
(obs)
vac
∼ 10
−15
M
susy
. (experiment) (75)
Compared to (71), we find that supersymmetry has, in some sense, solved the problem
halfway (on a logarithmic scale). This is encouraging, as it at least represents a step in the
right direction. Unfortunately, it is ultimately discouraging, since (71) was simply a guess,
while (75) is actually a reliable result in this context; supersymmetry renders the vacuum
energy finite and calculable, but the answer is still far away from what we need. (Subtleties in
supergravity and string theory allow us to add a negative contribution to the vacuum energy,
with which we could conceivably tune the answer to zero or some other small number; but
there is no reason for this tuning to actually happen.)
But perhaps there is something deep about supersymmetry which we don’t understand,
and our estimate M
vac
∼ M
susy
is simply incorrect. What if instead the correct formula were
M
vac

M
susy
M
P

M
susy
? (76)
In other words, we are guessing that the supersymmetry-breaking scale is actually the ge-
ometric mean of the vacuum scale and the Planck scale. Because M
P
is fifteen orders of
magnitude larger than M
susy
, and M
susy
is fifteen orders of magnitude larger than M
vac
, this
guess gives us the correct answer! Unfortunately this is simply optimistic numerology; there
is no theory that actually yields this answer (although there are speculations in this direction
[75]). Still, the simplicity with which we can write down the formula allows us to dream that
an improved understanding of supersymmetry might eventually yield the correct result.
As an alternative to searching for some formula that gives the vacuum energy in terms
of other measurable parameters, it may be that the vacuum energy is not a fundamental
quantity, but simply our feature of our local environment. We don’t turn to fundamental
28
theory for an explanation of the average temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere, nor are
we surprised that this temperature is noticeably larger than in most places in the universe;
perhaps the cosmological constant is on the same footing. This is the idea commonly known
as the “anthropic principle.”
To make this idea work, we need to imagine that there are many different regions of the
universe in which the vacuum energy takes on different values; then we would expect to find
ourselves in a region which was hospitable to our own existence. Although most humans
don’t think of the vacuum energy as playing any role in their lives, a substantially larger
value than we presently observe would either have led to a rapid recollapse of the universe (if
ρ
vac
were negative) or an inability to form galaxies (if ρ
vac
were positive). Depending on the
distribution of possible values of ρ
vac
, one can argue that the observed value is in excellent
agreement with what we should expect [76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82].
The idea of environmental selection only works under certain special circumstances, and
we are far from understanding whether those conditions hold in our universe. In particular,
we need to show that there can be a huge number of different domains with slightly different
values of the vacuum energy, and that the domains can be big enough that our entire observ-
able universe is a single domain, and that the possible variation of other physical quantities
from domain to domain is consistent with what we observe in ours.
Recent work in string theory has lent some support to the idea that there are a wide
variety of possible vacuum states rather than a unique one [83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88]. String
theorists have been investigating novel ways to compactify extra dimensions, in which crucial
roles are played by branes and gauge fields. By taking different combinations of extra-
dimensional geometries, brane configurations, and gauge-field fluxes, it seems plausible that
a wide variety of states may be constructed, with different local values of the vacuum energy
and other physical parameters. An obstacle to understanding these purported solutions
is the role of supersymmetry, which is an important part of string theory but needs to
be broken to obtain a realistic universe. From the point of view of a four-dimensional
observer, the compactifications that have small values of the cosmological constant would
appear to be exactly the states alluded to earlier, where one begins with a supersymmetric
state with a negative vacuum energy, to which supersymmetry breaking adds just the right
amount of positive vacuum energy to give a small overall value. The necessary fine-tuning
is accomplished simply by imagining that there are many (more than 10
100
) such states, so
that even very unlikely things will sometimes occur. We still have a long way to go before
we understand this possibility; in particular, it is not clear that the many states obtained
have all the desired properties [89].
Even if such states are allowed, it is necessary to imagine a universe in which a large
number of them actually exist in local regions widely separated from each other. As is
well known, inflation works to take a small region of space and expand it to a size larger
than the observable universe; it is not much of a stretch to imagine that a multitude of
different domains may be separately inflated, each with different vacuum energies. Indeed,
models of inflation generally tend to be eternal, in the sense that the universe continues to
inflate in some regions even after inflation has ended in others [90, 91]. Thus, our observable
29
universe may be separated by inflating regions from other “universes” which have landed in
different vacuum states; this is precisely what is needed to empower the idea of environmental
selection.
Nevertheless, it seems extravagant to imagine a fantastic number of separate regions of
the universe, outside the boundary of what we can ever possibly observe, just so that we may
understand the value of the vacuum energy in our region. But again, this doesn’t mean it
isn’t true. To decide once and for all will be extremely difficult, and will at the least require
a much better understanding of how both string theory (or some alternative) and inflation
operate – an understanding that we will undoubtedly require a great deal of experimental
input to achieve.
3.5 Dark Energy, or Worse?
If general relativity is correct, cosmic acceleration implies there must be a dark energy density
which diminishes relatively slowly as the universe expands. This can be seen directly from
the Friedmann equation (17), which implies
˙ a
2
∝ a
2
ρ + constant . (77)
From this relation, it is clear that the only way to get acceleration ( ˙ a increasing) in an
expanding universe is if ρ falls off more slowly than a
−2
; neither matter (ρ
M
∝ a
−3
) nor
radiation (ρ
R
∝ a
−4
) will do the trick. Vacuum energy is, of course, strictly constant; but
the data are consistent with smoothly-distributed sources of dark energy that vary slowly
with time.
There are good reasons to consider dynamical dark energy as an alternative to an honest
cosmological constant. First, a dynamical energy density can be evolving slowly to zero, al-
lowing for a solution to the cosmological constant problem which makes the ultimate vacuum
energy vanish exactly. Second, it poses an interesting and challenging observational prob-
lem to study the evolution of the dark energy, from which we might learn something about
the underlying physical mechanism. Perhaps most intriguingly, allowing the dark energy to
evolve opens the possibility of finding a dynamical solution to the coincidence problem, if
the dynamics are such as to trigger a recent takeover by the dark energy (independently of,
or at least for a wide range of, the parameters in the theory). To date this hope has not
quite been met, but dynamical mechanisms at least allow for the possibility (unlike a true
cosmological constant).
The simplest possibility along these lines involves the same kind of source typically in-
voked in models of inflation in the very early universe: a scalar field φ rolling slowly in a
potential, sometimes known as “quintessence” [92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97]. The energy density of
a scalar field is a sum of kinetic, gradient, and potential energies,
ρ
φ
=
1
2
˙
φ
2
+
1
2
(∇φ)
2
+V (φ) . (78)
30
For a homogeneous field (∇φ ≈ 0), the equation of motion in an expanding universe is
¨
φ + 3H
˙
φ +
dV

= 0 . (79)
If the slope of the potential V is quite flat, we will have solutions for which φ is nearly
constant throughout space and only evolving very gradually with time; the energy density
in such a configuration is
ρ
φ
≈ V (φ) ≈ constant . (80)
Thus, a slowly-rolling scalar field is an appropriate candidate for dark energy.
However, introducing dynamics opens up the possibility of introducing new problems,
the form and severity of which will depend on the specific kind of model being considered.
Most quintessence models feature scalar fields φ with masses of order the current Hubble
scale,
m
φ
∼ H
0
∼ 10
−33
eV . (81)
(Fields with larger masses would typically have already rolled to the minimum of their
potentials.) In quantum field theory, light scalar fields are unnatural; renormalization effects
tend to drive scalar masses up to the scale of new physics. The well-known hierarchy problem
of particle physics amounts to asking why the Higgs mass, thought to be of order 10
11
eV,
should be so much smaller than the grand unification/Planck scale, 10
25
-10
27
eV. Masses of
10
−33
eV are correspondingly harder to understand. On top of that, light scalar fields give
rise to long-range forces and time-dependent coupling constants that should be observable
even if couplings to ordinary matter are suppressed by the Planck scale [98, 99]; we therefore
need to invoke additional fine-tunings to explain why the quintessence field has not already
been experimentally detected.
Nevertheless, these apparent fine-tunings might be worth the price, if we were somehow
able to explain the coincidence problem. To date, many investigations have considered scalar
fields with potentials that asymptote gradually to zero, of the form e
1/φ
or 1/φ. These can
have cosmologically interesting properties, including “tracking” behavior that makes the
current energy density largely independent of the initial conditions [100]. They do not,
however, provide a solution to the coincidence problem, as the era in which the scalar field
begins to dominate is still set by finely-tuned parameters in the theory. One way to address
the coincidence problem is to take advantage of the fact that matter/radiation equality was
a relatively recent occurrence (at least on a logarithmic scale); if a scalar field has dynamics
which are sensitive to the difference between matter- and radiation-dominated universes, we
might hope that its energy density becomes constant only after matter/radiation equality.
An approach which takes this route is k-essence [101], which modifies the form of the kinetic
energy for the scalar field. Instead of a conventional kinetic energy K =
1
2
(
˙
φ)
2
, in k-essence
we posit a form
K = f(φ)g(
˙
φ
2
) , (82)
where f and g are functions specified by the model. For certain choices of these functions,
the k-essence field naturally tracks the evolution of the total radiation energy density during
31
radiation domination, but switches to being almost constant once matter begins to dominate.
Unfortunately, it seems necessary to choose a finely-tuned kinetic term to get the desired
behavior [102].
An alternative possibility is that there is nothing special about the present era; rather,
acceleration is just something that happens from time to time. This can be accomplished
by oscillating dark energy [103]. In these models the potential takes the form of a decaying
exponential (which by itself would give scaling behavior, so that the dark energy remained
proportional to the background density) with small perturbations superimposed:
V (φ) = e
−φ
[1 + αcos(φ)] . (83)
On average, the dark energy in such a model will track that of the dominant matter/radiation
component; however, there will be gradual oscillations from a negligible density to a dominant
density and back, on a timescale set by the Hubble parameter, leading to occasional periods
of acceleration. Unfortunately, in neither the k-essence models nor the oscillating models do
we have a compelling particle-physics motivation for the chosen dynamics, and in both cases
the behavior still depends sensitively on the precise form of parameters and interactions
chosen. Nevertheless, these theories stand as interesting attempts to address the coincidence
problem by dynamical means.
One of the interesting features of dynamical dark energy is that it is experimentally
testable. In principle, different dark energy models can yield different cosmic histories,
and, in particular, a different value for the equation of state parameter, both today and its
redshift-dependence. Since the CMB strongly constrains the total density to be near the
critical value, it is sensible to assume a perfectly flat universe and determine constraints on
the matter density and dark energy equation of state; see figure (3.8) for some recent limits.
As can be seen in (3.8), one possibility that is consistent with the data is that w < −1.
Such a possibility violates the dominant energy condition, but possible models have been
proposed [105]. However, such models run into serious problems when one takes them
seriously as a particle physics theory [106, 107]. Even if one restricts one’s attention to more
conventional matter sources, making dark energy compatible with sensible particle physics
has proven tremendously difficult.
Given the challenge of this problem, it is worthwhile considering the possibility that
cosmic acceleration is not due to some kind of stuff, but rather arises from new gravitational
physics. there are a number of different approaches to this [108, 109, 110, 111, 112, 113] and
we will not review them all here. Instead we will provide an example drawn from our own
proposal [112].
As a first attempt, consider the simplest correction to the Einstein-Hilbert action,
S =
M
2
p
2

d
4
x

−g

R −
µ
4
R

+

d
4
x

−g L
M
. (84)
Here µ is a new parameter with units of [mass] and L
M
is the Lagrangian density for matter.
The fourth-order equations arising from this action are complicated and it is difficult to
extract details about cosmological evolution from them. It is therefore convenient to trans-
form from the frame used in 84, which we call the matter frame, to the Einstein frame, where
32

matter
W
Q
68% 68% 68% 68% 68%
99% 99% 99%
68%
95% 99% 99%
CMB+WMAP+HST+SN-Ia+
LSS+BBN
S
u
p
e
r
n
o
v
a
e
95% 95% 95%
Figure 3.8: Constraints on the dark-energy equation-of-state parameter, as a function of

M
, assuming a flat universe. These limits are derived from studies of supernovae, CMB
anisotropies, measurements of the Hubble constant, large-scale structure, and primordial
nucleosynthesis. From [104].
33
the gravitational Lagrangian takes the Einstein-Hilbert form and the additional degrees of
freedom (
¨
H and
˙
H) are represented by a fictitious scalar field φ. The details of this can
be found in [112]. Here we just state that, performing a simultaneous redefinition of the
time coordinate, in terms of the new metric ˜ g
µν
, our theory is that of a scalar field φ(x
µ
)
minimally coupled to Einstein gravity, and non-minimally coupled to matter, with potential
V (φ) = µ
2
M
2
p
exp

¸
−2

2
3
φ
M
p
¸

exp

¸

2
3
φ
M
p
¸

−1 . (85)
Now let us first focus on vacuum cosmological solutions. The beginning of the Universe
corresponds to R → ∞ and φ → 0. The initial conditions we must specify are the initial
values of φ and φ

, denoted as φ
i
and φ

i
. For simplicity we take φ
i
M
p
. There are then
three qualitatively distinct outcomes, depending on the value of φ

i
.
1. Eternal de Sitter. There is a critical value of φ

i
≡ φ

C
for which φ just reaches the
maximum of the potential V (φ) and comes to rest. In this case the Universe asymptotically
evolves to a de Sitter solution. This solution requires tuning and is unstable, since any
perturbation will induce the field to roll away from the maximum of its potential.
2. Power-Law Acceleration. For φ

i
> φ

C
, the field overshoots the maximum of V (φ)
and the Universe evolves to late-time power-law inflation, with observational consequences
similar to dark energy with equation-of-state parameter w
DE
= −2/3.
3. Future Singularity. For φ

i
< φ

C
, φ does not reach the maximum of its potential and
rolls back down to φ = 0. This yields a future curvature singularity.
In the more interesting case in which the Universe contains matter, it is possible to show
that the three possible cosmic futures identified in the vacuum case remain in the presence
of matter.
By choosing µ ∼ 10
−33
eV, the corrections to the standard cosmology only become im-
portant at the present epoch, making this theory a candidate to explain the observed accel-
eration of the Universe without recourse to dark energy. Since we have no particular reason
for this choice, such a tuning appears no more attractive than the traditional choice of the
cosmological constant.
Clearly our choice of correction to the gravitational action can be generalized. Terms of
the form −µ
2(n+1)
/R
n
, with n > 1, lead to similar late-time self acceleration, with behavior
similar to a dark energy component with equation of state parameter
w
eff
= −1 +
2(n + 2)
3(2n + 1)(n + 1)
. (86)
Clearly therefore, such modifications can easily accommodate current observational bounds [104,
73] on the equation of state parameter −1.45 < w
DE
< −0.74 (95% confidence level). In the
asymptotic regime n = 1 is ruled out at this level, while n ≥ 2 is allowed; even n = 1 is
permitted if we are near the top of the potential.
Finally, any modification of the Einstein-Hilbert action must, of course, be consistent
with the classic solar system tests of gravity theory, as well as numerous other astrophysical
34
dynamical tests. We have chosen the coupling constant µ to be very small, but we have
also introduced a new light degree of freedom. Chiba [114] has pointed out that the model
with n = 1 is equivalent to Brans-Dicke theory with ω = 0 in the approximation where the
potential was neglected, and would therefore be inconsistent with experiment. It is not yet
clear whether including the potential, or considering extensions of the original model, could
alter this conclusion.
4 Early Times in the Standard Cosmology
In the first lecture we described the kinematics and dynamics of homogeneous and isotropic
cosmologies in general relativity, while in the second we discussed the situation in our cur-
rent universe. In this lecture we wind the clock back, using what we know of the laws of
physics and the universe today to infer conditions in the early universe. Early times were
characterized by very high temperatures and densities, with many particle species kept in
(approximate) thermal equilibrium by rapid interactions. We will therefore have to move
beyond a simple description of non-interacting “matter” and “radiation,” and discuss how
thermodynamics works in an expanding universe.
4.1 Describing Matter
In the first lecture we discussed how to describe matter as a perfect fluid, described by an
energy-momentum tensor
T
µν
= (ρ +p)U
µ
U
ν
+pg
µν
, (87)
where U
µ
is the fluid four-velocity, ρ is the energy density in the rest frame of the fluid and p
is the pressure in that same frame. The energy-momentum tensor is covariantly conserved,

µ
T
µν
= 0 . (88)
In a more complete description, a fluid will be characterized by quantities in addition
to the energy density and pressure. Many fluids have a conserved quantity associated with
them and so we will also introduce a number flux density N
µ
, which is also conserved

µ
N
µ
= 0 . (89)
For non-tachyonic matter N
µ
is a timelike 4-vector and therefore we may decompose it as
N
µ
= nU
µ
. (90)
We can also introduce an entropy flux density S
µ
. This quantity is not conserved, but rather
obeys a covariant version of the second law of thermodynamics

µ
S
µ
≥ 0 . (91)
35
Not all phenomena are successfully described in terms of such a local entropy vector (e.g.,
black holes); fortunately, it suffices for a wide variety of fluids relevant to cosmology.
The conservation law for the energy-momentum tensor yields, most importantly, equa-
tion (25), which can be thought of as the first law of thermodynamics
dU = TdS −pdV , (92)
with dS = 0.
It is useful to resolve S
µ
into components parallel and perpendicular to the fluid 4-velocity
S
µ
= sU
µ
+s
µ
, (93)
where s
µ
U
µ
= 0. The scalar s is the rest-frame entropy density which, up to an additive
constant (that we can consistently set to zero), can be written as
s =
ρ +p
T
. (94)
In addition to all these quantities, we must specify an equation of state, and we typically do
this in such a way as to treat n and s as independent variables.
4.2 Particles in Equilibrium
The various particles inhabiting the early universe can be usefully characterized according to
three criteria: in equilibrium vs. out of equilibrium (decoupled), bosonic vs. fermionic, and
relativistic (velocities near c) vs. non-relativistic. In this section we consider species which
are in equilibrium with the surrounding thermal bath.
Let us begin by discussing the conditions under which a particle species will be in equilib-
rium with the surrounding thermal plasma. A given species remains in thermal equilibrium
as long as its interaction rate is larger than the expansion rate of the universe. Roughly
speaking, equilibrium requires it to be possible for the products of a given reaction have
the opportunity to recombine in the reverse reaction and if the expansion of the universe
is rapid enough this won’t happen. A particle species for which the interaction rates have
fallen below the expansion rate of the universe is said to have frozen out or decoupled. If
the interaction rate of some particle with the background plasma is Γ, it will be decoupled
whenever
Γ H , (95)
where the Hubble constant H sets the cosmological timescale.
As a good rule of thumb, the expansion rate in the early universe is “slow,” and particles
tend to be in thermal equilibrium (unless they are very weakly coupled). This can be seen
from the Friedmann equation when the energy density is dominated by a plasma with ρ ∼ T
4
;
we then have
H ∼

T
M
p

T . (96)
36
Thus, the Hubble parameter is suppressed with respect to the temperature by a factor of
T/M
p
. At extremely early times (near the Planck era, for example), the universe may
be expanding so quickly that no species are in equilibrium; as the expansion rate slows,
equilibrium becomes possible. However, the interaction rate Γ for a particle with cross-
section σ is typically of the form
Γ = nσv , (97)
where n is the number density and v a typical particle velocity. Since n ∝ a
−3
, the density
of particles will eventually dip so low that equilibrium can once again no longer be main-
tained. In our current universe, no species are in equilibrium with the background plasma
(represented by the CMB photons).
Now let us focus on particles in equilibrium. For a gas of weakly-interacting particles, we
can describe the state in terms of a distribution function f(p), where the three-momentum
p satisfies
E
2
(p) = m
2
+|p|
2
. (98)
The distribution function characterizes the density of particles in a given momentum bin.
(In general it will also be a function of the spatial position x, but we suppress that here.)
The number density, energy density, and pressure of some species labeled i are given by
n
i
=
g
i
(2π)
3

f
i
(p)d
3
p
ρ
i
=
g
i
(2π)
3

E(p)f
i
(p)d
3
p
p
i
=
g
i
(2π)
3

|p|
2
3E(p)
f
i
(p)d
3
p , (99)
where g
i
is the number of spin states of the particles. For massless photons we have g
γ
= 2,
while for a massive vector boson such as the Z we have g
Z
= 3. In the usual accounting,
particles and antiparticles are treated as separate species; thus, for spin-1/2 electrons and
positrons we have g
e
− = g
e
+ = 2. In thermal equilibrium at a temperature T the particles
will be in either Fermi-Dirac or Bose-Einstein distributions,
f(p) =
1
e
E(p)/T
±1
, (100)
where the plus sign is for fermions and the minus sign for bosons.
We can do the integrals over the distribution functions in two opposite limits: particles
which are highly relativistic (T m) or highly non-relativistic (T m). The results are
shown in table 2, in which ζ is the Riemann zeta function, and ζ(3) ≈ 1.202.
From this table we can extract several pieces of relevant information. Relativistic parti-
cles, whether bosons or fermions, remain in approximately equal abundances in equilibrium.
Once they become non-relativistic, however, their abundance plummets, and becomes expo-
nentially suppressed with respect to the relativistic species. This is simply because it becomes
progressively harder for massive particle-antiparticle pairs to be produced in a plasma with
T m.
37
Relativistic Relativistic Non-relativistic
Bosons Fermions (Either)
n
i
ζ(3)
π
2
g
i
T
3

3
4

ζ(3)
π
2
g
i
T
3
g
i

m
i
T

3/2
e
−m
i
/T
ρ
i
π
2
30
g
i
T
4

7
8

π
2
30
g
i
T
4
m
i
n
i
p
i
1
3
ρ
i
1
3
ρ
i
n
i
T ρ
i
Table 2: Number density, energy density, and pressure, for species in thermal equilibrium.
It is interesting to note that, although matter is much more dominant than radiation
in the universe today, since their energy densities scale differently the early universe was
radiation-dominated. We can write the ratio of the density parameters in matter and radi-
ation as

M

R
=

M0

R0

a
a
0

=

M0

R0
(1 +z)
−1
. (101)
The redshift of matter-radiation equality is thus
1 +z
eq
=

M0

R0
≈ 3 ×10
3
. (102)
This expression assumes that the particles that are non-relativistic today were also non-
relativistic at z
eq
; this should be a safe assumption, with the possible exception of massive
neutrinos, which make a minority contribution to the total density.
As we mentioned in our discussion of the CMB in the previous lecture, even decoupled
photons maintain a thermal distribution; this is not because they are in equilibrium, but
simply because the distribution function redshifts into a similar distribution with a lower
temperature proportional to 1/a. We can therefore speak of the “effective temperature” of
a relativistic species that freezes out at a temperature T
f
and scale factor a
f
:
T
rel
i
(a) = T
f

a
f
a

. (103)
For example, neutrinos decouple at a temperature around 1 MeV; shortly thereafter, electrons
and positrons annihilate into photons, dumping energy (and entropy) into the plasma but
leaving the neutrinos unaffected. Consequently, we expect a neutrino background in the
current universe with a temperature of approximately 2K, while the photon temperature is
3K.
A similar effect occurs for particles which are non-relativistic at decoupling, with one
important difference. For non-relativistic particles the temperature is proportional to the
kinetic energy
1
2
mv
2
, which redshifts as 1/a
2
. We therefore have
T
non−rel
i
(a) = T
f

a
f
a

2
. (104)
38
In either case we are imagining that the species freezes out while relativistic/non-relativistic
and stays that way afterward; if it freezes out while relativistic and subsequently becomes
non-relativistic, the distribution function will be distorted away from a thermal spectrum.
The notion of an effective temperature allows us to define a corresponding notion of
an effective number of relativistic degrees of freedom, which in turn permits a compact
expression for the total relativistic energy density. The effective number of relativistic degrees
of freedom (as far as energy is concerned) can be defined as
g

=
¸
bosons
g
i

T
i
T

4
+
7
8
¸
fermions
g
i

T
i
T

4
. (105)
(The temperature T is the actual temperature of the background plasma, assumed to be in
equilibrium.) Then the total energy density in all relativistic species comes from adding the
contributions of each species, to obtain the simple formula
ρ =
π
2
30
g

T
4
. (106)
We can do the same thing for the entropy density. From (94), the entropy density in rela-
tivistic particles goes as T
3
rather than T
4
, so we define the effective number of relativistic
degrees of freedom for entropy as
g
∗S
=
¸
bosons
g
i

T
i
T

3
+
7
8
¸
fermions
g
i

T
i
T

3
. (107)
The entropy density in relativistic species is then
s =

45
g
∗S
T
3
. (108)
Numerically, g

and g

S will typically be very close to each other. In the Standard Model,
we have
g

≈ g
∗S

100 T > 300 MeV
10 300 MeV > T > 1 MeV
3 T < 1 MeV .
(109)
The events that change the effective number of relativistic degrees of freedom are the QCD
phase transition at 300 MeV, and the annihilation of electron/positron pairs at 1 MeV.
Because of the release of energy into the background plasma when species annihilate, it is
only an approximation to say that the temperature goes as T ∝ 1/a. A better approximation
is to say that the comoving entropy density is conserved,
s ∝ a
−3
. (110)
This will hold under all forms of adiabatic evolution; entropy will only be produced at a
process like a first-order phase transition or an out-of-equilibrium decay. (In fact, we expect
39
that the entropy production from such processes is very small compared to the total entropy,
and adiabatic evolution is an excellent approximation for almost the entire early universe.
One exception is inflation, discussed in the next lecture.) Combining entropy conservation
with the expression (108) for the entropy density in relativistic species, we obtain a better
expression for the evolution of the temperature,
T ∝ g
−1/3
∗S
a
−1
. (111)
The temperature will consistently decrease under adiabatic evolution in an expanding uni-
verse, but it decreases more slowly when the effective number of relativistic degrees of freedom
is diminished.
4.3 Thermal Relics
As we have mentioned, particles typically do not stay in equilibrium forever; eventually
the density becomes so low that interactions become infrequent, and the particles freeze
out. Since essentially all of the particles in our current universe fall into this category, it is
important to study the relic abundance of decoupled species. (Of course it is also possible
to obtain a significant relic abundance for particles which were never in thermal equilibrium;
examples might include baryons produced by GUT baryogenesis, or axions produced by
vacuum misalignment.) In this section we will typically neglect factors of order unity.
We have seen that relativistic, or hot, particles have a number density that is proportional
to T
3
in equilibrium. Thus, a species X that freezes out while still relativistic will have a
number density at freeze-out T
f
given by
n
X
(T
f
) ∼ T
3
f
. (112)
Since this is comparable to the number density of photons at that time, and after freeze-out
both photons and our species X just have their number densities dilute by a factor a(t)
−3
as the universe expands, it is simple to see that the abundance of X particles today should
be comparable to the abundance of CMB photons,
n
X0
∼ n
γ0
∼ 10
2
cm
−3
. (113)
We express this number as 10
2
rather than 411 since the roughness of our estimate does not
warrant such misleading precision. The leading correction to this value is typically due to
the production of additional photons subsequent to the decoupling of X; in the Standard
Model, the number density of photons increases by a factor of approximately 100 between
the electroweak phase transition and today, and a species which decouples during this period
will be diluted by a factor of between 1 and 100 depending on precisely when it freezes out.
So, for example, neutrinos which are light (m
ν
< MeV) have a number density today of
n
ν
= 115 cm
−3
per species, and a corresponding contribution to the density parameter (if
they are nevertheless heavy enough to be nonrelativistic today) of

0,ν
=

m
ν
92 eV

h
−2
. (114)
40
(In this final expression we have secretly taken account of the missing numerical factors,
so this is a reliable answer.) Thus, a neutrino with m
ν
∼ 10
−2
eV would contribute Ω
ν

2×10
−4
. This is large enough to be interesting without being large enough to make neutrinos
be the dark matter. That’s good news, since the large velocities of neutrinos make them
free-stream out of overdense regions, diminishing primordial perturbations and leaving us
with a universe which has much less structure on small scales than we actually observe.
Now consider instead a species X which is nonrelativistic or cold at the time of decoupling.
It is much harder to accurately calculate the relic abundance of a cold relic than a hot one,
simply because the equilibrium abundance of a nonrelativistic species is changing rapidly with
respect to the background plasma, and we have to be quite precise following the freeze-out
process to obtain a reliable answer. The accurate calculation typically involves numerical
integration of the Boltzmann equation for a network of interacting particle species; here,
we cut to the chase and simply provide a reasonable approximate expression. If σ
0
is the
annihilation cross-section of the species X at a temperature T = m
X
, the final number
density in terms of the photon density works out to be
n
X
(T < T
f
) ∼
1
σ
0
m
X
M
P
n
γ
. (115)
Since the particles are nonrelativistic when they decouple, they will certainly be nonrela-
tivistic today, and their energy density is
ρ
X
= m
X
n
X
. (116)
We can plug in numbers for the Hubble parameter and photon density to obtain the density
parameter,

X
=
ρ
X
ρ
cr

n
γ
σ
0
M
3
p
H
2
0
. (117)
Numerically, when ¯ h = c = 1 we have 1 GeV∼ 2 ×10
−14
cm, so the photon density today is
n
γ
∼ 100 cm
−3
∼ 10
−39
GeV
−3
. The Hubble constant is H
0
∼ 10
−42
GeV, and the Planck
mass is M
p
∼ 10
18
GeV, so we obtain

X

1
σ
0
(10
9
GeV
2
)
. (118)
It is interesting to note that this final expression is independent of the mass m
X
of our relic,
and only depends on the annihilation cross-section; that’s because more massive particles will
have a lower relic abundance. Of course, this depends on how we choose to characterize our
theory; we may use variables in which σ
0
is a function of m
X
, in which case it is reasonable
to say that the density parameter does depend on the mass.
The designation cold may ring a bell with many of you, for you will have heard it used in a
cosmological context applied to cold dark matter (CDM). Let us see briefly why this is. One
candidate for CDM is a Weakly Interacting Massive Particle (WIMP). The annihilation cross-
section of these particles, since they are weakly interacting, should be σ
0
∼ α
2
W
G
F
, where α
W
41
is the weak coupling constant and G
F
is the the Fermi constant. Using G
F
∼ (300GeV)
−2
and α
W
∼ 10
−2
, we get
σ
0
∼ α
2
W
G
F
∼ 10
−9
GeV
−2
. (119)
Thus, the density parameter in such particles would be

X
∼ 1 . (120)
In other words, a stable particle with a weak interaction cross section naturally produces a
relic density of order the critical density today, and so provides a perfect candidate for cold
dark matter. A paradigmatic example is provided by the lightest supersymmetric partner
(LSP), if it is stable and supersymmetry is broken at the weak scale. Such a possibility is
of great interest to both particle physicists and cosmologists, since it may be possible to
produce and detect such particles in colliders and to directly detect a WIMP background
in cryogenic detectors in underground laboratories; this will be a major experimental effort
over the next few years [13].
4.4 Vacuum displacement
Another important possibility is the existence of relics which were never in thermal equi-
librium. An example of these will be discussed later in this lecture: the production of
topological defects at phase transitions. Let’s discuss another kind of non-thermal relic,
which derives from what we might call “vacuum displacement.” Consider the action for a
real scalar field in curved spacetime:
S =

d
4
x

−g
¸

1
2
g
µν

µ
φ∂
ν
φ −V (φ)

. (121)
If we assume that φ is spatially homogeneous (∂
i
φ = 0), its equation of motion in the
Robertson-Walker metric (5) will be
¨
φ + 3H
˙
φ +V

(φ) = 0 , (122)
where an overdot indicates a partial derivative with respect to time, and a prime indicates
a derivative with respect to φ. For a free massive scalar field, V (φ) =
1
2
m
2
φ
φ
2
, and (122)
describes a harmonic oscillator with a time-dependent damping term. For H > m
φ
the field
will be overdamped, and stay essentially constant at whatever point in the potential it finds
itself. So let us imagine that at some time in the very early universe (when H was large) we
had such an overdamped homogeneous scalar field, stuck at a value φ = φ

; the total energy
density in the field is simply the potential energy
1
2
m
2
φ
φ
2

. The Hubble parameter H will
decrease to approximately m
φ
when the temperature reaches T

=

m
φ
M
p
, after which the
field will be able to evolve and will begin to oscillate in its potential. The vacuum energy
is converted to a combination of vacuum and kinetic energy which will redshift like matter,
42
as ρ
φ
∝ a
−3
; in a particle interpretation, the field is a Bose condensate of zero-momentum
particles. We will therefore have
ρ
φ
(a) ∼
1
2
m
2
φ
φ
2

a

a

3
, (123)
which leads to a density parameter today

0,φ

φ
4

m
φ
10
−19
GeV
5

1/2
. (124)
A classic example of a non-thermal relic produced by vacuum displacement is the QCD
axion, which has a typical primordial value φ ∼ f
PQ
and a mass m
φ
∼ Λ
2
QCD
/f
PQ
, where
f
PQ
is the Peccei-Quinn symmetry-breaking scale and Λ
QCD
∼ 0.3 GeV is the QCD scale [1].
In this case, plugging in numbers reveals

0,φ

f
PQ
10
13
GeV

3/2
. (125)
The Peccei-Quinn scale is essentially a free parameter from a theoretical point of view,
but experiments and astrophysical constraints have ruled out most values except for a small
window around f
PQ
∼ 10
12
GeV. The axion therefore remains a viable dark matter candidate
[115, 116]. Note that, even though dark matter axions are very light (Λ
2
QCD
/f
PQ
∼ 10
−4
eV),
they are extremely non-relativistic, which can be traced to the non-thermal nature of their
production process. (Another important way to produce axions is through the decay of axion
cosmic strings [1, 117].)
4.5 Primordial Nucleosynthesis
Given our time constraints, even some of the more important concepts in cosmology cannot
be dealt with in significant detail. We have chosen just to give a cursory treatment to
primordial nucleosynthesis, although its importance as a crucial piece of evidence in favor of
the big bang model and its usefulness in bounding any new physics of cosmological relevance
cannot be overstated.
Observations of primordial nebulae reveal abundances of the light elements unexplained
by stellar nucleosynthesis. Although it does a great disservice to the analytic and numerical
work required, not to mention the difficulties of measuring the abundances, we will just state
that the study of nuclear processes in the background of an expanding cooling universe yields
a remarkable concordance between theory and experiment.
At temperatures below 1 MeV, the weak interactions are frozen out and neutrons and
protons cease to interconvert. The equilibrium abundance of neutrons at this temperature
is about 1/6 the abundance of protons (due to the slightly larger neutron mass). The
neutrons have a finite lifetime (τ
n
= 890 sec) that is somewhat larger than the age of the
universe at this epoch, t(1 MeV) ≈ 1 sec, but they begin to gradually decay into protons and
43
leptons. Soon thereafter, however, we reach a temperature somewhat below 100 keV, and
Big-Bang nucleosynthesis (BBN) begins. (The nuclear binding energy per nucleon is typically
of order 1 MeV, so you might expect that nucleosynthesis would occur earlier; however, the
large number of photons per nucleon prevents nucleosynthesis from taking place until the
temperature drops below 100 keV.) At that point the neutron/proton ratio is approximately
1/7. Of all the light nuclei, it is energetically favorable for the nucleons to reside in
4
He,
and indeed that is what most of the free neutrons are converted into; for every two neutrons
and fourteen protons, we end up with one helium nucleus and twelve protons. Thus, about
25% of the baryons by mass are converted to helium. In addition, there are trace amounts of
deuterium (approximately 10
−5
deuterons per proton),
3
He (also ∼ 10
−5
), and
7
Li (∼ 10
−10
).
Of course these numbers are predictions, which are borne out by observations of the
primordial abundances of light elements. (Heavier elements are not synthesized in the Big
Bang, but require supernova explosions in the later universe.) We have glossed over numerous
crucial details, especially those which explain how the different abundances depend on the
cosmological parameters. For example, imagine that we deviate from the Standard Model by
introducing more than three light neutrino species. This would increase the radiation energy
density at a fixed temperature, which in turn decreases the timescales associated with a given
temperature (since t ∼ H
−1
∝ ρ
−1/2
R
). Nucleosynthesis would therefore happen somewhat
earlier, resulting in a higher abundance of neutrons, and hence in a larger abundance of
4
He.
Observations of the primordial helium abundance, which are consistent with the Standard
Model prediction, provided the first evidence that the number of light neutrinos is actually
three.
The most amazing fact about nucleosynthesis is that, given that the universe is radiation
dominated during the relevant epoch (and the physics of general relativity and the Stan-
dard Model), the relative abundances of the light elements depend essentially on just one
parameter, the baryon to entropy ratio
η ≡
n
B
s
=
n −n¯
b
s
, (126)
where n
B
= n
b
− n¯
b
is the difference between the number of baryons and antibaryons per
unit volume. The range of η consistent with the deuterium and
3
He primordial abundances
is
2.6 ×10
−10
< η < 6.2 ×10
−10
. (127)
Very recently this number has been independently determined to be
η = 6.1 ×10
−10 +0.3×10
−10
−0.2×10
−10
(128)
from precise measurements of the relative heights of the first two microwave background
(CMB) acoustic peaks by the WMAP satellite. This is illustrated in figure (4.9) and we will
have a lot more to say about this quantity later when we discuss baryogenesis.
44
Figure 4.9: Abundances of light elements produced by BBN, as a function of the baryon den-
sity. The vertical strip indicates the concordance region favored by observations of primordial
abundances. From [47].
4.6 Finite Temperature Phase Transitions
We have hinted at the need to go beyond perfect fluid sources for the Einstein equations if
we are to unravel some of the mysteries left by the standard cosmology. Given our modern
understanding of particle physics, it is natural to consider using field theory to model matter
at early times in the universe. The effect of cosmic expansion and the associated thermody-
namics yield some fascinating phenomena when combined with such a field theory approach.
One significant example is provided by finite temperature phase transitions.
Rather than performing a detailed calculation in finite-temperature field theory, we will
illustrate this with a rough argument. Consider a theory of a single real scalar field φ at zero
45
temperature, interacting with a second real scalar field χ. The Lagrangian density is
L = −
1
2

µ
φ∂
µ
φ −
1
2

µ
χ∂
µ
χ −V (φ, T = 0) −
g
2
φ
2
χ
2
, (129)
with potential
V (φ, T = 0) = −
µ
2
2
φ
2
+
λ
4
φ
4
, (130)
where µ is a parameter with dimensions of mass and λ and g are dimensionless coupling
constants.
Now, consider what the effective theory for φ looks like if we assume that χ is in thermal
equilibrium. In this case, we may replace χ by the temperature T to obtain a Lagrangian
for φ only, with finite temperature effective potential given by
V (φ, T) =
1
2

gT
2
−µ
2

φ
2
+
λ
4
φ
4
. (131)
This simple example demonstrates a very significant result. At zero temperature, all your
particle physics intuition tells you correctly that the theory is spontaneously broken, in this
case the global Z
2
symmetry of the Lagrangian is broken by the ground state value φ = 0
(we shall see more of this soon). However, at temperatures above the critical temperature
T
c
given by
T
c
=
µ

g
, (132)
the full Z
2
symmetry of the Lagrangian is respected by the finite temperature ground state,
which is now at φ = 0. This behavior is know as finite temperature symmetry restoration,
and its inverse, occurring as the universe cools, is called finite temperature spontaneous
symmetry breaking.
Zero temperature unification and symmetry breaking are fundamental features of modern
particle physics models. For particle physicists this amounts to the statement that the chosen
vacuum state of a gauge field theory is one which does not respect the underlying symmetry
group of the Lagrangian.
The melding of ideas from particle physics and cosmology described above leads us to
speculate that matter in the early universe was described by a unified gauge field theory based
on a simple continuous Lie group, G. As a result of the extreme temperatures of the early
universe, the vacuum state of the theory respected the full symmetry of the Lagrangian. As
the universe cooled, we hypothesize that the gauge theory underwent a series of spontaneous
symmetry breakings (SSB) until matter was finally described by the unbroken gauge groups
of QCD and QED. Schematically the symmetry breaking can be represented by
G →H →· · · →SU(3)
c
×SU(2)
L
×U(1)
Y
→SU(3)
c
×U(1)
em
. (133)
The group G is known as the grand unified gauge group and the initial breaking G → H
and is expected to take place at 10
16
GeV, as we discuss below.
46
Let us briefly set up the mathematical description of SSB which will be useful later when
we discuss topological properties of the theory.
Consider a gauge field theory described by a continuous group G. Denote the vacuum
state of the theory by |0. Then, given g(x) ∈ G, the state g(x)|0 is also a vacuum. Suppose
all vacuum states are of the form g|0 but that the state |0 is invariant only under a subgroup
H ⊂ G. Then the symmetry of the theory is said to have been spontaneously broken from G
to H. Let us define two vacuum states |0
A
and |0
B
to represent the same state under the
broken group if g|0
A
= |0
B
for some g ∈ G. We write |0
A
∼ |0
B
and the distinguishable
vacua of the theory are equivalence classes under ∼ and are the cosets of H in G. Then the
vacuum manifold, the space of all accessible vacua of the theory, is the coset space
M = G/H . (134)
Given that we believe the universe evolved through a sequence of such symmetry breakings,
there are many questions we can ask about the cosmological implications of the scheme and
many ways in which we can constrain and utilize the possible breaking patterns.
4.7 Topological Defects
In a quantum field theory, small oscillations around the vacuum appear as particles. If the
space of possible vacuum states is topologically nontrivial, however, there arises the possibil-
ity of another kind of solitonic object: a topological defect. Consider a field theory described
by a continuous symmetry group G which is spontaneously broken to a subgroup H ⊂ G.
Recall that the space of all accessible vacua of the theory, the vacuum manifold, is defined
to be the space of cosets of H in G; M ≡ G/H. Whether the theory admits topological
defects depends on whether the vacuum manifold has nontrivial homotopy groups. A homo-
topy group consists of equivalence classes of maps of spheres (with fixed base point) into the
manifold, where two maps are equivalent if they can be smoothly deformed into each other.
The homotopy groups defined in terms of n-spheres are denoted π
n
.
In general, a field theory with vacuum manifold M possesses a topological defect of some
type if
π
i
(M) = 1 , (135)
for some i = 0, 1, . . .. In particular, we can have a set of defects, as listed in table 3. In
order to get an intuitive picture of the meaning of these topological criteria let us consider
the first two.
If π
0
(M) = 1, the manifold M is disconnected. (A zero-sphere is the set of two points a
fixed distance from the origin in R
1
. The set of topologically equivalent maps with fixed base
point from such such a sphere into a manifold is simply the set of disconnected pieces into
which the manifold falls.) Let’s assume for simplicity that the vacuum manifold consists
of just two disconnected components M
1
and M
2
and restrict ourselves to one spatial
dimension. Then, if we apply boundary conditions that the vacuum at −∞ lies in M
1
and
that at +∞ lies in M
2
, by continuity there must be a point somewhere where the order
47
Homotopy Constraint Topological Defect
π
0
(M) = 1 Domain Wall
π
1
(M) = 1 Cosmic String
π
2
(M) = 1 Monopole
π
3
(M) = 1 Texture
Table 3: Topological defects, as described by homotopy groups of the vacuum manifolds of
a theory with spontaneously broken symmetry.
parameter does not lie in the vacuum manifold as the field interpolates between the two
vacua. The region in which the field is out of the vacuum is known as a domain wall.
Similarly, suppose π
1
(M) = 1. This implies that the vacuum manifold is not simply-
connected: there are non-contractible loops in the manifold. The order parameter for such
a situation may be considered complex and if, when traveling around a closed curve in
space, the phase of the order parameter changes by a non-zero multiple of 2π, by continuity
there is a point within the curve where the field is out of the vacuum manifold. Continuity
in the direction perpendicular to the plane of the curve implies that there exists a line of
such points. This is an example of a cosmic string or line defect. Since we shall mostly
concentrate on these defects let us now give a detailed analysis of the simplest example, the
Nielsen-Olesen vortex in the Abelian Higgs model.
Consider a complex scalar field theory based on the Abelian gauge group U(1). The
Lagrangian density for this model is
L = −
1
2
(D
µ
ϕ)

D
µ
ϕ −
1
4
F
µν
F
µν
−V (ϕ) , (136)
where ϕ(x) is the complex scalar field, the covariant derivative, D
µ
, and field strength tensor
F
µν
are defined in terms of the Abelian gauge field A
µ
as
D
µ
ϕ ≡ (∂
µ
+ieA
µ
)ϕ , (137)
F
µν
≡ ∂
µ
A
ν
−∂
ν
A
µ
, (138)
and the symmetry breaking (or “Mexican hat”) potential is
V (ϕ) =
λ
4


ϕ −η
2
)
2
. (139)
Here e is the gauge coupling constant and η is a parameter that represents the scale of the
symmetry breaking. In preparation for our discussion of the more general cosmological situ-
ation, let us note that at high temperatures the Lagrangian contains temperature-dependent
corrections given by
V (ϕ) →V (ϕ) +CT
2
ϕ
2
+· · · , (140)
48
where C is a constant. For T > T
c
, where T
c
is defined by
T
2
c
=
λ
2C
η
2
, (141)
we see that
V (ϕ) =
λ
4


ϕ) +
λ
2
η
2

T
2
T
2
c
−1

ϕ

ϕ +
λ
4
η
2
(142)
is minimized by ϕ = 0. However, for T < T
c
, minimizing the above expression with respect
to ϕ yields a minimum at
ϕ
2
= η
2

1 −
T
2
T
2
c

. (143)
Thus, for T > T
c
the full symmetry group G = U(1) is restored and the vacuum expectation
value of the ϕ-field is zero. As the system cools, there is a phase transition at the critical
temperature T
c
and the vacuum symmetry is spontaneously broken, in this case entirely:
G = U(1) −→1 = H . (144)
The vacuum manifold is
M≡ G/H = U(1)/1 = U(1) = {ϕ : ϕ = ηe

, 0 ≤ α ≤ 2π} . (145)
The group U(1) is topologically a circle, so
M = S
1
. (146)
The set of topologically equivalent ways to map one circle to another circle is given by the
integers. (We can wrap it any number of times in either sense.) The first homotopy group
is therefore the integers. Calculating homotopy groups in general is difficult, but for S
1
all
of the other groups are trivial. We therefore have
π
0
(S
1
) = 1 (147)
π
1
(S
1
) = Z (148)
π
2
(S
1
) = 1 (149)
π
3
(S
1
) = 1 . (150)
The Abelian Higgs model therefore allows for cosmic strings.
To see how strings form in this model, consider what happens as T decreases through T
c
.
The symmetry breaks and the field acquires a VEV given by
ϕ = ηe

, (151)
where α may be chosen differently in different regions of space, as implied by causality (we
shall discuss this shortly). The requirement that ϕ be single valued implies that around
any closed curve in space the change ∆α in α must satisfy
∆α = 2πn , n ∈ Z . (152)
49
If for a given loop we have n = 0, then we can see that any 2-surface bounded by the loop
must contain a singular point, for if not then we can continuously contract the loop to a
point, implying that n = 0 which is a contradiction. At this singular point the phase, α,
is undefined and ϕ = 0. Further, ϕ must be zero all along an infinite or closed curve,
since otherwise we can contract our loop without encountering a singularity. We identify
this infinite or closed curve of false vacuum points as the core of our string. We shall restrict
our attention to the case where n = 1, since this is the most likely configuration.
The first discussion of string solutions to the Abelian Higgs model is due to Nielsen
and Olesen. Assume the string is straight and that the core is aligned with the z-axis. In
cylindrical polar coordinates, (r, θ), let us make the ansatz
ϕ = ηX(r)e

,
A
µ
=
1
e
Y (r)∂
µ
θ . (153)
The Lagrangian then yields the simplified equations of motion
−X


X

r
+
Y
2
X
r
2
+
λη
2
2
X(X
2
−1) = 0 ,
−Y

+
Y

r
+
2e
2
η
2
X
2
Y
λ
= 0 , (154)
where a prime denotes differentiation with respect to r. It is not possible to solve these
equations analytically, but asymptotically we have
X ∼ r , Y = 1 +O(r
2
) ; as r →0 ,
X ∼ 1 −O

¸
e
−λ
1/2
ηr

ηr
¸

, Y ∼ O(

ηre
−2
1/2
eηr
) ; as r →∞ . (155)
This solution corresponds to a string centered on the z-axis, with a central magnetic core of
width ∼ (eη)
−1
carrying a total magnetic flux
Φ =

r=∞
A
µ
dx
µ
= −

e
. (156)
The core region over which the Higgs fields are appreciably non-zero has width ∼ (λ
1/2
η)
−1
.
Note that these properties depend crucially on the fact that we started with a gauged sym-
metry. A spontaneously broken global symmetry with nontrivial π
i
(M) would still produce
cosmic strings, but they would be much less localized, since there would be no gauge fields
to cancel the scalar gradients at large distances.
Strings are characterized by their tension, which is the energy per unit length. For the
Nielsen-Olesen solution just discussed, the tension is approximately
µ ∼ η
2
. (157)
50
Thus, the energy of the string is set by the expectation value of the order parameter respon-
sible for the symmetry breaking. This behavior is similarly characteristic of other kinds of
topological defects. Again, global defects are quite different; the tension of a global string
actually diverges, due to the slow fall-off of the energy density as we move away from the
string core. It is often convenient to parameterize the tension by the dimensionless quantity
Gµ, so that a Planck-scale string would have Gµ ∼ 1.
From the above discussion we can see that cosmology provides us with a unique op-
portunity to explore the rich and complex structure of particle physics theories. Although
the topological solutions discussed above exist in the theory at zero temperature, there is
no mechanism within the theory to produce these objects. The topological structures con-
tribute a set of zero measure in the phase space of possible solutions to the theory and hence
the probability of production in particle processes is exponentially suppressed. What the
cosmological evolution of the vacuum supplies is a concrete causal mechanism for producing
these long lived exotic solutions.
At this point it is appropriate to discuss how many of these defects we expect to be
produced at a cosmological phase transition. In the cosmological context, the mechanism
for the production of defects is known as the Kibble mechanism. The guiding principle here
is causality. As the phase transition takes place, the maximum causal distance imposed on
the theory by cosmology is simply the Hubble distance – the distance which light can have
traveled since the big bang.
As we remarked above, as the temperature of the universe falls well below the critical
temperature of the phase transition, T
c
, the expectation value of the order parameter takes
on a definite value (∼ ηe

in the Abelian Higgs model) in each region of space. However,
at temperatures around the critical temperature we expect that thermal fluctuations in φ
will be large so that as the universe cools it will split into domains with different values of
α in different domains. This is the crucial role played by the cosmological evolution.
The Kibble mechanism provides us with an order of magnitude upper bound for the
size of such a region as the causal horizon size at the time of the phase transition. The
boundaries between the domains will be regions where the phase of φ changes smoothly.
If the phase changes by 2πn for some n = 0 when traversing a loop in space, then any
surface bounded by that loop intersects a cosmic string. These strings must be horizon-sized
or closed loops. Numerical simulations of cosmic string formation indicate that the initial
distribution of strings consists of 80% horizon-sized and 20% loops by mass. If we consider
the temperature at which there is insufficient thermal energy to excite a correlation volume
back into the unbroken state, the Ginsburg temperature, T
G
, then, given the assumption of
thermal equilibrium above the phase transition, a much improved estimate for the initial
separation of the defects can be derived and is given by
ξ(t
G
) ∼ λ
−1
η
−1
,
where λ is the self coupling of the order parameter. This separation is microscopic.
Interesting bounds on the tension of cosmic strings produced by the Kibble mechanism
arise from two sources: perturbations of the CMB, and gravitational waves. Both arise
51
because the motions of heavy strings moving at relativistic velocities lead to time-dependent
gravitational fields. The actual values of the bounds are controversial, simply because it is
difficult to accurately model the nonlinear evolution of a string network, and the results can
be sensitive to what assumptions are made. Nevertheless, the CMB bounds amount roughly
to [118, 119, 120, 121]
Gµ ≤ 10
−6
. (158)
This corresponds roughly to strings at the GUT scale, 10
16
GeV, which is certainly an
interesting value. Bounds from gravitational waves come from two different techniques:
direct observation, and indirect measurement through accurate pulsar timings. Currently,
pulsar timing measurements are more constraining, and give a bound similar to that from
the CMB [122]. Unlike the CMB measurements, however, gravitational wave observatories
will become dramatically better in the near future, through operations of ground-based
observatories such as LIGO as well as satellites such as LISA. These experiments should be
able to improve the bounds on Gµ by several orders of magnitude [123].
Now that we have established the criteria necessary for the production of topological
defects in spontaneously broken theories, let us apply these conditions to the best understood
physical example, the electroweak phase transition. As we remarked earlier, the GWS theory
is based on the gauge group SU(2)
L
× U(1)
Y
. At the phase transition this breaks to pure
electromagnetism, U(1)
em
. Thus, the vacuum manifold is the space of cosets
M
EW
= [SU(2) ×U(1)]/U(1) , (159)
This looks complicated but in fact this space is topologically equivalent to the three-sphere,
S
3
. The homotopy groups of the three-sphere are
π
0
(S
3
) = 1 (160)
π
1
(S
3
) = 1 (161)
π
2
(S
3
) = 1 (162)
π
3
(S
3
) = Z . (163)
(Don’t be fooled into thinking that all homotopy groups of spheres vanish except in the
dimensionality of the sphere itself; for example, π
3
(S
2
) = Z.)
Thus, the electroweak model does not lead to walls, strings, or monopoles. It does lead
to what we called “texture,” which deserves further comment. In a theory where π
3
(M) is
nontrivial but the other groups vanish, we can always map three-dimensional space smoothly
into the vacuum manifold; there will not be a defect where the field climbs out of M. How-
ever, if we consider field configurations which approach a unique value at spatial infinity,
they will fall into homotopy classes characterized by elements of π
3
(M); configurations with
nonzero winding will be textures. If the symmetry is global, such configurations will nec-
essarily contain gradient energies from the scalar fields. The energy perturbations caused
by global textures were, along with cosmic strings, formerly popular as a possible origin of
52
structure formation in the universe [124, 125]; the predictions of these theories are incon-
sistent with the sharp acoustic peaks observed in the CMB, so such models are no longer
considered viable.
In the standard model, however, the broken symmetry is gauged. In this case there is
no need for gradient energies, since the gauge field can always be chosen to cancel them;
equivalently, “texture” configurations can always be brought to the vacuum by a gauge
transformation. However, transitions from one texture configuration to one with a different
winding number are gauge invariant. These transitions will play a role in electroweak baryon
number violation, discussed in the next section.
4.8 Baryogenesis
The symmetry between particles and antiparticles [126, 127], firmly established in collider
physics, naturally leads to the question of why the observed universe is composed almost
entirely of matter with little or no primordial antimatter.
Outside of particle accelerators, antimatter can be seen in cosmic rays in the form of a
few antiprotons, present at a level of around 10
−4
in comparison with the number of protons
(for example see [128]). However, this proportion is consistent with secondary antiproton
production through accelerator-like processes, p + p → 3p + ¯ p, as the cosmic rays stream
towards us. Thus there is no evidence for primordial antimatter in our galaxy. Also, if matter
and antimatter galaxies were to coexist in clusters of galaxies, then we would expect there
to be a detectable background of γ-radiation from nucleon-antinucleon annihilations within
the clusters. This background is not observed and so we conclude that there is negligible
antimatter on the scale of clusters (For a review of the evidence for a baryon asymmetry see
[129].)
More generally, if large domains of matter and antimatter exist, then annihilations would
take place at the interfaces between them. If the typical size of such a domain was small
enough, then the energy released by these annihilations would result in a diffuse γ-ray back-
ground and a distortion of the cosmic microwave radiation, neither of which is observed.
While the above considerations put an experimental upper bound on the amount of an-
timatter in the universe, strict quantitative estimates of the relative abundances of baryonic
matter and antimatter may also be obtained from the standard cosmology. The baryon num-
ber density does not remain constant during the evolution of the universe, instead scaling
like a
−3
, where a is the cosmological scale factor [130]. It is therefore convenient to define
the baryon asymmetry of the universe in terms of the quantity
η ≡
n
B
s
, (164)
defined earlier. Recall that the range of η consistent with the deuterium and
3
He primordial
abundances is
2.6 ×10
−10
< η < 6.2 ×10
−10
. (165)
Thus the natural question arises; as the universe cooled from early times to today, what
processes, both particle physics and cosmological, were responsible for the generation of
53
this very specific baryon asymmetry? (For reviews of mechanisms to generate the baryon
asymmetry, see
As pointed out by Sakharov [131], a small baryon asymmetry η may have been produced
in the early universe if three necessary conditions are satisfied
• baryon number (B) violation,
• violation of C (charge conjugation symmetry) and CP (the composition of parity and
C),
• departure from thermal equilibrium.
The first condition should be clear since, starting from a baryon symmetric universe with
η = 0, baryon number violation must take place in order to evolve into a universe in which η
does not vanish. The second Sakharov criterion is required because, if C and CP are exact
symmetries, one can prove that the total rate for any process which produces an excess
of baryons is equal to the rate of the complementary process which produces an excess of
antibaryons and so no net baryon number can be created. That is to say that the thermal
average of the baryon number operator B, which is odd under both C and CP, is zero unless
those discrete symmetries are violated. CP violation is present either if there are complex
phases in the Lagrangian which cannot be reabsorbed by field redefinitions (explicit breaking)
or if some Higgs scalar field acquires a VEV which is not real (spontaneous breaking). We
will discuss this in detail shortly.
Finally, to explain the third criterion, one can calculate the equilibrium average of B at
a temperature T = 1/β:
B
T
= Tr (e
−βH
B) = Tr [(CPT)(CPT)
−1
e
−βH
B)]
= Tr (e
−βH
(CPT)
−1
B(CPT)] = −Tr (e
−βH
B) , (166)
where we have used that the Hamiltonian H commutes with CPT. Thus B
T
= 0 in
equilibrium and there is no generation of net baryon number.
Of the three Sakharov conditions, baryon number violation and C and CP violation may
be investigated only within a given particle physics model, while the third condition – the
departure from thermal equilibrium – may be discussed in a more general way, as we shall
see (for baryogenesis reviews see [132, 133, 9, 10, 134, 135, 136].) Let us discuss the Sakharov
criteria in more detail.
4.9 Baryon Number Violation
4.9.1 B-violation in Grand Unified Theories
As discussed earlier, Grand Unified Theories (GUTs) [137] describe the fundamental inter-
actions by means of a unique gauge group G which contains the Standard Model (SM) gauge
group SU(3)
C
⊗SU(2)
L
⊗U(1)
Y
. The fundamental idea of GUTs is that at energies higher
54
than a certain energy threshold M
GUT
the group symmetry is G and that, at lower ener-
gies, the symmetry is broken down to the SM gauge symmetry, possibly through a chain of
symmetry breakings. The main motivation for this scenario is that, at least in supersym-
metric models, the (running) gauge couplings of the SM unify [138, 139, 140] at the scale
M
GUT
2 ×10
16
GeV, hinting at the presence of a GUT involving a higher symmetry with
a single gauge coupling.
Baryon number violation seems very natural in GUTs. Indeed, a general property of
these theories is that the same representation of G may contain both quarks and leptons,
and therefore it is possible for scalar and gauge bosons to mediate gauge interactions among
fermions having different baryon number.
4.9.2 B-violation in the Electroweak theory.
It is well-known that the most general renormalizable Lagrangian invariant under the SM
gauge group and containing only color singlet Higgs fields is automatically invariant under
global abelian symmetries which may be identified with the baryonic and leptonic symme-
tries. These, therefore, are accidental symmetries and as a result it is not possible to violate
B and L at tree-level or at any order of perturbation theory. Nevertheless, in many cases
the perturbative expansion does not describe all the dynamics of the theory and, indeed,
in 1976 ’t Hooft [141] realized that nonperturbative effects (instantons) may give rise to
processes which violate the combination B +L, but not the orthogonal combination B −L.
The probability of these processes occurring today is exponentially suppressed and probably
irrelevant. However, in more extreme situations – like the primordial universe at very high
temperatures [142, 143, 144, 145] – baryon and lepton number violating processes may be
fast enough to play a significant role in baryogenesis. Let us have a closer look.
At the quantum level, the baryon and the lepton symmetries are anomalous [146, 147],
so that their respective Noether currents j
µ
B
and j
µ
L
are no longer conserved, but satisfy

µ
j
µ
B
= ∂
µ
j
µ
L
= n
f

g
2
32π
2
W
a
µν
˜
W
aµν

g
2
32π
2
F
µν
˜
F
µν

, (167)
where g and g

are the gauge couplings of SU(2)
L
and U(1)
Y
, respectively, n
f
is the number
of families and
˜
W
µν
= (1/2)
µναβ
W
αβ
is the dual of the SU(2)
L
field strength tensor, with
an analogous expression holding for
˜
F. To understand how the anomaly is closely related
to the vacuum structure of the theory, we may compute the change in baryon number from
time t = 0 to some arbitrary final time t = t
f
. For transitions between vacua, the average
values of the field strengths are zero at the beginning and the end of the evolution. The
change in baryon number may be written as
∆B = ∆N
CS
≡ n
f
[N
CS
(t
f
) −N
CS
(0)] . (168)
where the Chern-Simons number is defined to be
N
CS
(t) ≡
g
2
32π
2

d
3
x
ijk
Tr

A
i

j
A
k
+
2
3
igA
i
A
j
A
k

, (169)
55
where A
i
is the SU(2)
L
gauge field. Although the Chern-Simons number is not gauge in-
variant, the change ∆N
CS
is. Thus, changes in Chern-Simons number result in changes in
baryon number which are integral multiples of the number of families n
f
(with n
f
= 3 in the
real world). Gauge transformations U(x) which connects two degenerate vacua of the gauge
theory may change the Chern-Simons number by an integer n, the winding number.
If the system is able to perform a transition from the vacuum G
(n)
vac
to the closest one
G
(n±1)
vac
, the Chern-Simons number is changed by unity and ∆B = ∆L = n
f
. Each transition
creates 9 left-handed quarks (3 color states for each generation) and 3 left-handed leptons
(one per generation).
However, adjacent vacua of the electroweak theory are separated by a ridge of configu-
rations with energies larger than that of the vacuum. The lowest energy point on this ridge
is a saddle point solution to the equations of motion with a single negative eigenvalue, and
is referred to as the sphaleron [143, 144]. The probability of baryon number nonconserving
processes at zero temperature has been computed by ’t Hooft [141] and is highly suppressed.
The thermal rate of baryon number violation in the broken phase is
Γ
sp
(T) = µ

M
W
α
W
T

3
M
4
W
exp


E
sph
(T)
T

, (170)
where µ is a dimensionless constant. Although the Boltzmann suppression in (170) appears
large, it is to be expected that, when the electroweak symmetry becomes restored at a
temperature of around 100 GeV, there will no longer be an exponential suppression factor.
A simple estimate is that the rate per unit volume of sphaleron events is
Γ
sp
(T) = κ(α
W
T)
4
, (171)
with κ another dimensionless constant. The rate of sphaleron processes can be related to
the diffusion constant for Chern-Simons number by a fluctuation-dissipation theorem [148]
(for a good description of this see [134]).
4.9.3 CP violation
CP violation in GUTs arises in loop-diagram corrections to baryon number violating bosonic
decays. Since it is necessary that the particles in the loop also undergo B-violating decays,
the relevant particles are the X, Y , and H
3
bosons in the case of SU(5).
In the electroweak theory things are somewhat different. Since only the left-handed
fermions are SU(2)
L
gauge coupled, C is maximally broken in the SM. Moreover, CP is
known not to be an exact symmetry of the weak interactions. This is seen experimentally
in the neutral kaon system through K
0
,
¯
K
0
mixing. Thus, CP violation is a natural feature
of the standard electroweak model.
While this is encouraging for baryogenesis, it turns out that this particular source of CP
violation is not strong enough. The relevant effects are parameterized by a dimensionless
constant which is no larger than 10
−20
. This appears to be much too small to account for the
observed BAU and, thus far, attempts to utilize this source of CP violation for electroweak
56
baryogenesis have been unsuccessful. In light of this, it is usual to extend the SM in some
fashion that increases the amount of CP violation in the theory while not leading to results
that conflict with current experimental data. One concrete example of a well-motivated
extension in the minimal supersymmetric standard model (MSSM).
4.9.4 Departure from Thermal Equilibrium
In some scenarios, such as GUT baryogenesis, the third Sakharov condition is satisfied due
to the presence of superheavy decaying particles in a rapidly expanding universe. These
generically fall under the name of out-of-equilibrium decay mechanisms.
The underlying idea is fairly simple. If the decay rate Γ
X
of the superheavy particles X
at the time they become nonrelativistic (i.e. at the temperature T ∼ M
X
) is much smaller
than the expansion rate of the universe, then the X particles cannot decay on the time scale
of the expansion and so they remain as abundant as photons for T
<

M
X
. In other words,
at some temperature T > M
X
, the superheavy particles X are so weakly interacting that
they cannot catch up with the expansion of the universe and they decouple from the thermal
bath while they are still relativistic, so that n
X
∼ n
γ
∼ T
3
at the time of decoupling.
Therefore, at temperature T M
X
, they populate the universe with an abundance which
is much larger than the equilibrium one. This overabundance is precisely the departure from
thermal equilibrium needed to produce a final nonvanishing baryon asymmetry when the
heavy states X undergo B and CP violating decays.
The out-of-equilibrium condition requires very heavy states: M
X
>

(10
15
− 10
16
) GeV
and M
X
>

(10
10
−10
16
) GeV, for gauge and scalar bosons, respectively [149], if these heavy
particles decay through renormalizable operators.
A different implementation can be found in the electroweak theory. At temperatures
around the electroweak scale, the expansion rate of the universe in thermal units is small
compared to the rate of baryon number violating processes. This means that the equilibrium
description of particle phenomena is extremely accurate at electroweak temperatures. Thus,
baryogenesis cannot occur at such low scales without the aid of phase transitions and the
question of the order of the electroweak phase transition becomes central.
If the EWPT is second order or a continuous crossover, the associated departure from
equilibrium is insufficient to lead to relevant baryon number production [145]. This means
that for EWBG to succeed, we either need the EWPT to be strongly first order or other
methods of destroying thermal equilibrium to be present at the phase transition. For a first
order transition there is an extremum at ϕ = 0 which becomes separated from a second local
minimum by an energy barrier. At the critical temperature T = T
c
both phases are equally
favored energetically and at later times the minimum at ϕ = 0 becomes the global minimum
of the theory.
The dynamics of the phase transition in this situation is crucial to most scenarios of
electroweak baryogenesis. The essential picture is that around T
c
quantum tunneling occurs
and nucleation of bubbles of the true vacuum in the sea of false begins. Initially these bubbles
are not large enough for their volume energy to overcome the competing surface tension and
57
they shrink and disappear. However, at a particular temperature below T
c
, bubbles just large
enough to grow nucleate. These are termed critical bubbles, and they expand, eventually
filling all of space and completing the transition.
As the bubble walls pass each point in space, the order parameter changes rapidly, as do
the other fields, and this leads to a significant departure from thermal equilibrium. Thus, if
the phase transition is strongly enough first order it is possible to satisfy the third Sakharov
criterion in this way.
A further natural way to depart from equilibrium is provided by the dynamics of topo-
logical defects [150, 151, 152, 153]. If, for example, cosmic strings are produced at the GUT
phase transition, then the decays of loops of string act as an additional source of superheavy
bosons which undergo baryon number violating decays.
When defects are produced at the TeV scale, a detailed analysis of the dynamics of a
network of these objects shows that a significant baryon to entropy ratio can be generated if
the electroweak symmetry is restored around such a higher scale ordinary defect. Although
B-violation can be inefficient along nonsuperconducting strings [154], there remain viable
scenarios involving other ordinary defects, superconducting strings or defects carrying baryon
number.
4.9.5 Baryogenesis via leptogenesis
Since the linear combination B − L is left unchanged by sphaleron transitions, the baryon
asymmetry may be generated from a lepton asymmetry [155, 156, 157] (see also [158, 159].)
Indeed, sphaleron transition will reprocess any lepton asymmetry and convert (a fraction
of) it into baryon number. This is because B + L must be vanishing and the final baryon
asymmetry results to be B −L.
In the SM as well as in its unified extension based on the group SU(5), B−L is conserved
and no asymmetry in B−L can be generated. However, adding right-handed Majorana neu-
trinos to the SM breaks B−L and the primordial lepton asymmetry may be generated by the
out-of-equilibrium decay of heavy right-handed Majorana neutrinos N
c
L
(in the supersym-
metric version, heavy scalar neutrino decays are also relevant for leptogenesis). This simple
extension of the SM can be embedded into GUTs with gauge groups containing SO(10).
Heavy right-handed Majorana neutrinos can also explain the smallness of the light neutrino
masses via the see-saw mechanism [157].
4.9.6 Affleck-Dine Baryogenesis
Finally in this section, we mention briefly a mechanism introduced by Affleck and Dine [160]
involving the cosmological evolution of scalar fields carrying baryonic charge.
Consider a colorless, electrically neutral combination of quark and lepton fields. In a su-
persymmetric theory this object has a scalar superpartner, χ, composed of the corresponding
squark ˜ q and slepton
˜
l fields.
An important feature of supersymmetric field theories is the existence of “flat directions”
in field space, on which the scalar potential vanishes. Consider the case where some com-
58
ponent of the field χ lies along a flat direction. By this we mean that there exist directions
in the superpotential along which the relevant components of χ can be considered as a free
massless field. At the level of renormalizable terms, flat directions are generic, but super-
symmetry breaking and nonrenormalizable operators lift the flat directions and sets the scale
for their potential.
During inflation it is likely that the χ field is displaced from the position χ = 0,
establishing the initial conditions for the subsequent evolution of the field. An important
role is played at this stage by baryon number violating operators in the potential V (χ),
which determine the initial phase of the field. When the Hubble rate becomes of the order
of the curvature of the potential ∼ m
3/2
, the condensate starts oscillating around its present
minimum. At this time, B-violating terms in the potential are of comparable importance
to the mass term, thereby imparting a substantial baryon number to the condensate. After
this time, the baryon number violating operators are negligible so that, when the baryonic
charge of χ is transferred to fermions through decays, the net baryon number of the universe
is preserved by the subsequent cosmological evolution.
The most recent implementations of the Affleck-Dine scenario have been in the context
of the minimal supersymmetric standard model [161, 162] in which, because there are large
numbers of fields, flat directions occur because of accidental degeneracies in field space.
5 Inflation
In our previous lectures we have described what is known as the standard cosmology. This
framework is a towering achievement, describing to great accuracy the physical processes
leading to the present day universe. However, there remain outstanding issues in cosmology.
Many of these come under the heading of initial condition problems and require a more
complete description of the sources of energy density in the universe. The most severe of
these problems eventually led to a radical new picture of the physics of the early universe -
cosmological inflation [163, 164, 165], which is the subject of this lecture.
We will begin by describing some of the problems of the standard cosmology.
5.1 The Flatness Problem
The Friedmann equation may be written as
Ω −1 =
k
H
2
a
2
, (172)
where for brevity we are now writing Ω instead of Ω
total
. Differentiating this with respect to
the scale factor, this implies
dΩ
da
= (1 + 3w)
Ω(Ω −1)
a
. (173)
This equation is easily solved, but its most general properties are all that we shall need and
they are qualitatively different depending on the sign of 1+3w. There are three fixed points
of this differential equation, as given in table 4.
59
Fixed Point 1 + 3w > 0 1 + 3w < 0
Ω = 0 attractor repeller
Ω = 1 repeller attractor
Ω = ∞ attractor repeller
Table 4: Behavior of the density parameter near fixed points.
t
CMB
today
Figure 5.10: Past light cones in a universe expanding from a Big Bang singularity, illustrating
particle horizons in cosmology. Points at recombination, observed today as parts of the
cosmic microwave background on opposite sides of the sky, have non-overlapping past light
cones (in conventional cosmology); no causal signal could have influenced them to have the
same temperature.
Observationally we know that Ω 1 today – i.e., we are very close to the repeller of this
differential equation for a universe dominated by ordinary matter and radiation (w > −1/3).
Even if we only took account of the luminous matter in the universe, we would clearly live in
a universe that was far from the attractor points of the equation. It is already quite puzzling
that the universe has not reached one of its attractor points, given that the universe has
evolved for such a long time. However, we may be more quantitative about this. If the only
matter in the universe is radiation and dust, then in order to have Ω in the range observed
today requires (conservatively)
0 ≤ 1 −Ω ≤ 10
−60
. (174)
This remarkable degree of fine tuning is the flatness problem. Within the context of the
standard cosmology there is no known explanation of this fine-tuning.
5.2 The Horizon Problem
The horizon problem stems from the existence of particle horizons in FRW cosmologies,
as discussed in the first lecture. Horizons exist because there is only a finite amount of
60
time since the Big Bang singularity, and thus only a finite distance that photons can travel
within the age of the universe. Consider a photon moving along a radial trajectory in a flat
universe (the generalization to non-flat universes is straightforward). In a flat universe, we
can normalize the scale factor to
a
0
= 1 (175)
without loss of generality. A radial null path obeys
0 = ds
2
= −dt
2
+a
2
dr
2
, (176)
so the comoving (coordinate) distance traveled by such a photon between times t
1
and t
2
is
∆r =

t
2
t
1
dt
a(t)
. (177)
To get the physical distance as it would be measured by an observer at any time t, simply
multiply by a(t). For simplicity let’s imagine we are in a matter-dominated universe, for
which
a =

t
t
0

2/3
. (178)
The Hubble parameter is therefore given by
H =
2
3
t
−1
= a
−3/2
H
0
. (179)
Then the photon travels a comoving distance
∆r = 2H
−1
0
(

a
2


a
1
) . (180)
The comoving horizon size when a = a

is the distance a photon travels since the Big Bang,
r
hor
(a

) = 2H
−1
0

a

. (181)
The physical horizon size, as measured on the spatial hypersurface at a

, is therefore simply
d
hor
(a

) = a

r
hor
(a

) = 2H
−1

. (182)
Indeed, for any nearly-flat universe containing a mixture of matter and radiation, at any one
epoch we will have
d
hor
(a

) ∼ H
−1

, (183)
where H
−1

is the Hubble distance at that particular epoch. This approximate equality
leads to a strong temptation to use the terms “horizon distance” and “Hubble distance”
interchangeably; this temptation should be resisted, since inflation can render the former
much larger than the latter, as we will soon demonstrate.
61
The horizon problem is simply the fact that the CMB is isotropic to a high degree of
precision, even though widely separated points on the last scattering surface are completely
outside each others’ horizons. When we look at the CMB we were observing the universe
at a scale factor a
CMB
≈ 1/1200; meanwhile, the comoving distance between a point on the
CMB and an observer on Earth is
∆r = 2H
−1
0
(1 −

a
CMB
)
≈ 2H
−1
0
. (184)
However, the comoving horizon distance for such a point is
r
hor
(a
CMB
) = 2H
−1
0

a
CMB
≈ 6 ×10
−2
H
−1
0
. (185)
Hence, if we observe two widely-separated parts of the CMB, they will have non-overlapping
horizons; distinct patches of the CMB sky were causally disconnected at recombination.
Nevertheless, they are observed to be at the same temperature to high precision. The
question then is, how did they know ahead of time to coordinate their evolution in the right
way, even though they were never in causal contact? We must somehow modify the causal
structure of the conventional FRW cosmology.
5.3 Unwanted Relics
We have spoken in the last lecture about grand unified theories (GUTs), and also about
topological defects. If grand unification occurs with a simple gauge group G, any spontaneous
breaking of G satisfies π
2
(G/H) = π
1
(H) for any simple subgroup H. In particular, breaking
down to the standard model will lead to magnetic monopoles, since
π
2
(G/H) = π
1
([SU(3) ×SU(2) ×U(1)]/Z
6
) = Z . (186)
(The gauge group of the standard model is, strictly speaking, [SU(3) × SU(2) × U(1)]/Z
6
.
The Z
6
factor, with which you may not be familiar, only affects the global structure of the
group and not the Lie algebra, and thus is usually ignored by particle physicists.)
Using the Kibble mechanism, the expected relic abundance of monopoles works out to
be

0,mono
∼ 10
11

T
GUT
10
14
GeV

3

m
mono
10
16
GeV

. (187)
This is far too big; the monopole abundance in GUTs is a serious problem for cosmology if
GUTs have anything to do with reality.
In addition to monopoles, there may be other model-dependent relics predicted by your
favorite theory. If these are incompatible with current limits, it is necessary to find some
way to dilute their density in the early universe.
62
5.4 The General Idea of Inflation
The horizon problem especially is an extremely serious problem for the standard cosmology
because at its heart is simply causality. Any solution to this problem is therefore almost
certain to require an important modification to how information can propagate in the early
universe. Cosmological inflation is such a mechanism.
Before getting into the details of inflation we will just sketch the general idea here. The
fundamental idea is that the universe undergoes a period of accelerated expansion, defined
as a period when ¨ a > 0, at early times. The effect of this acceleration is to quickly expand
a small region of space to a huge size, diminishing spatial curvature in the process, making
the universe extremely close to flat. In addition, the horizon size is greatly increased, so
that distant points on the CMB actually are in causal contact and unwanted relics are
tremendously diluted, solving the monopole problem. As an unexpected bonus, quantum
fluctuations make it impossible for inflation to smooth out the universe with perfect precision,
so there is a spectrum of remnant density perturbations; this spectrum turns out to be
approximately scale-free, in good agreement with observations of our current universe.
5.5 Slowly-Rolling Scalar Fields
If inflation is to solve the problems of the standard cosmology, then it must be active at
extremely early times. Thus, we would like to address the earliest times in the universe
amenable to a classical description. We expect this to be at or around the Planck time t
P
and since Planckian quantities arise often in inflation we will retain values of the Planck mass
in the equations of this section. There are many models of inflation, but because of time
constraints we will concentrate almost exclusively on the chaotic inflation model of Linde.
We have borrowed heavily in places here from the excellent text of Liddle and Lyth [7].
Consider modeling matter in the early universe by a real scalar field φ, with potential
V (φ). The energy-momentum tensor for φ is
T
µν
= (∇
µ
φ)(∇
ν
φ) −g
µν
¸
1
2
g
αβ
(∇
α
φ)(∇
β
φ) +V (φ)

. (188)
For simplicity we will specialize to the homogeneous case, in which all quantities depend
only on cosmological time t and set k = 0. A homogeneous real scalar field behaves as a
perfect fluid with
ρ
φ
=
1
2
˙
φ
2
+V (φ) (189)
p
φ
=
1
2
˙
φ
2
−V (φ) . (190)
The equation of motion for the scalar field is given by
¨
φ + 3
˙ a
a
˙
φ +
dV

= 0 , (191)
63
which can be thought of as the usual equation of motion for a scalar field in Minkowski space,
but with a friction term due to the expansion of the universe. The Friedmann equation with
such a field as the sole energy source is
H
2
=
8πG
3
¸
1
2
˙
φ
2
+V (φ)

. (192)
A very specific way in which accelerated expansion can occur is if the universe is dom-
inated by an energy component that approximates a cosmological constant. In that case
the associated expansion rate will be exponential, as we have already seen. Scalar fields can
accomplish this in an interesting way. From (189) it is clear that if
˙
φ
2
V (φ) then the
potential energy of the scalar field is the dominant contribution to both the energy density
and the pressure, and the resulting equation of state is p −ρ, approximately that of a
cosmological constant. the resulting expansion is certainly accelerating. In a loose sense,
this negligible kinetic energy is equivalent to the fields slowly rolling down its potential; an
approximation which we will now make more formal.
Technically, the slow-roll approximation for inflation involves neglecting the
¨
φ term
in (191) and neglecting the kinetic energy of φ compared to the potential energy. The
scalar field equation of motion and the Friedmann equation then become
˙
φ −
V

(φ)
3H
, (193)
H
2

8πG
3
V (φ) , (194)
where in this lecture a prime denotes a derivative with respect to φ.
These conditions will hold if the two slow-roll conditions are satisfied. These are
|| 1
|η| 1 , (195)
where the slow-roll parameters are given by

M
2
p
2

V

V

2
, (196)
and
η ≡ M
2
p
V

V
. (197)
It is easy to see that the slow roll conditions yield inflation. Recall that inflation is defined
by ¨ a/a > 0. We can write
¨ a
a
=
˙
H +H
2
, (198)
so that inflation occurs if
˙
H
H
2
> −1 . (199)
64
But in slow-roll
˙
H
H
2
− , (200)
which will be small. Smallness of the other parameter η helps to ensure that inflation will
continue for a sufficient period.
It is useful to have a general expression to describe how much inflation occurs, once it
has begun. This is typically quantified by the number of e-folds, defined by
N(t) ≡ ln

a(t
end
)
a(t)

. (201)
Usually we are interested in how many efolds occur between a given field value φ and the
field value at the end of inflation φ
end
, defined by (φ
end
) = 1. We also would like to express
N in terms of the potential. Fortunately this is simple to do via
N(t) ≡ ln

a(t
end
)
a(t)

=

t
end
t
H dt
1
M
2
p

φ
end
φ
V
V

dφ . (202)
The issue of initial conditions for inflation is one that is quite subtle and we will not get
into a discussion of that here. Instead we will remain focused on chaotic inflation, in which
we assume that the early universe emerges from the Planck epoch with the scalar field taking
different values in different parts of the universe, with typically Planckian energies. There
will then be some probability for inflation to begin in some places, and we shall focus on
those.
5.6 Attractor Solutions in Inflation
For simplicity, let us consider a particularly simple potential
V (φ) =
1
2
m
2
φ
2
, (203)
where m has dimensions of mass. We shall also assume initial conditions that at the end of
the quantum epoch, which we label as t = 0, ρ ∼ M
4
p
.
The slow-roll conditions give that, at t = 0,
φ = φ
0

M
2
p
m

M
p
ε
, (204)
where we have defined ε ≡ m/M
p
1. We also have
H = αφ , (205)
where
α ≡


3
ε , (206)
65
so that the scalar field equation of motion becomes
¨
φ + 3αφ
˙
φ +m
2
φ = 0 . (207)
This is solved by
φ = φ
0
−βt , (208)
where β ≡ m
2
/3α. Now, the slow-roll conditions remain satisfied provided that
φ
β
m
=
M
p

12π
, (209)
and therefore, (208) is valid for a time
∆t ∼
φ
0
β

t
P
ε
2
. (210)
Why is this important? This is important because (208) is an attractor solution! Let’s
see how this arises. Consider perturbing (208) by writing
φ(t) →φ(t) + χ(t) , (211)
where χ(t) is a “small” perturbation, substituting in to the equation of motion and linearizing
in χ. One obtains
¨ χ + 3αφ ˙ χ = 0 . (212)
This equation exhibits two solutions. The first is just a constant, which just serves to
move along the trajectory. The second solution is a decaying mode with time constant
t
c
= (3αφ)
−1
. Since t
c
∆t, all solutions rapidly decay to (208) - it is an attractor.
5.7 Solving the Problems of the Standard Cosmology
Let’s stick with the simple model of the last section. It is rather easy to see that the Einstein
equations are solved by
a(t) = a(0) exp
¸

M
2
p

2
0
−φ
2
)
¸
, (213)
as we might expect in inflation. The period of time during which (208) is valid ends at
t ∼ ∆t, at which
a(∆t) ∼ a(0) exp


ε
2

, (214)
Now, taking a typical value for m, for which ε < 10
−4
, we obtain
a(∆t) ∼ a(0) ×10
2.7×10
8
. (215)
This has a remarkable consequence. A proper distance L
P
at t = 0 will inflate to a size
10
10
8
cm after a time ∆t ∼ 5 × 10
−36
seconds. It is important at this point to know that
66
the size of the observable universe today is H
−1
0
∼ andhasnothadenough10
28
cm! Therefore,
only a small fraction of the original Planck length comprises today’s entire visible universe.
Thus, homogeneity over a patch less than or of order the Planck length at the onset of
inflation is all that is required to solve the horizon problem. Of course, if we wait sufficiently
long we will start to see those inhomogeneities (originally sub-Planckian) that were inflated
away. However, if inflation lasts long enough (typically about sixty e-folds or so) then this
would not be apparent today. Similarly, any unwanted relics are diluted by the tremendous
expansion; so long as the GUT phase transition happens before inflation, monopoles will
have an extremely low density.
Inflation also solves the flatness problem. There are a couple of ways to see this. The
first is to note that, assuming inflation begins, the curvature term in the Friedmann equation
very quickly becomes irrelevant, since it scales as a(t)
−2
. Of course, after inflation, when
the universe is full of radiation (and later dust) the curvature term redshifts more slowly
than both these components and will eventually become more important than both of them.
However, if inflation lasts sufficiently long then even today the total energy density will be
so close to unity that we will notice no curvature.
A second way to see this is that, following a similar analysis to that leading to (173)
leads to the conclusion that Ω = 1 is an attractor rather than a repeller, when the universe
is dominated by energy with w < −1/3. Therefore, Ω is forced to be very close to one by
inflation; if the inflationary period lasts sufficiently long, the density parameter will not have
had time since to stray appreciably away from unity.
5.8 Vacuum Fluctuations and Perturbations
Recall that the structures - clusters and superclusters of galaxies - we see on the largest
scales in the universe today, and hence the observed fluctuations in the CMB, form from the
gravitational instability of initial perturbations in the matter density. The origin of these
initial fluctuations is an important question of modern cosmology.
Inflation provides us with a fascinating solution to this problem - in a nutshell, quantum
fluctuations in the inflaton field during the inflationary epoch are stretched by inflation and
ultimately become classical fluctuations. Let’s sketch how this works.
Since inflation dilutes away all matter fields, soon after its onset the universe is in a
pure vacuum state. If we simplify to the case of exponential inflation, this vacuum state is
described by the Gibbons-Hawking temperature
T
GH
=
H



V
M
p
, (216)
where we have used the Friedmann equation. Because of this temperature, the inflaton
experiences fluctuations that are the same for each wavelength δφ
k
= T
GH
. Now, these
fluctuations can be related to those in the density by
δρ =
dV

δφ . (217)
67
Inflation therefore produces density perturbations on every scale. The amplitude of the
perturbations is nearly equal at each wavenumber, but there will be slight deviations due to
the gradual change in V as the inflaton rolls. We can characterize the fluctuations in terms
of their spectrum A
S
(k), related to the potential via
A
2
S
(k) ∼
V
3
M
6
p
(V

)
2

k=aH
, (218)
where k = aH indicates that the quantity V
3
/(V

)
2
is to be evaluated at the moment when
the physical scale of the perturbation λ = a/k is equal to the Hubble radius H
−1
. Note
that the actual normalization of (218) is convention-dependent, and should drop out of any
physical answer.
The spectrum is given the subscript “S” because it describes scalar fluctuations in the
metric. These are tied to the energy-momentum distribution, and the density fluctuations
produced by inflation are adiabatic — fluctuations in the density of all species are corre-
lated. The fluctuations are also Gaussian, in the sense that the phases of the Fourier modes
describing fluctuations at different scales are uncorrelated. These aspects of inflationary per-
turbations — a nearly scale-free spectrum of adiabatic density fluctuations with a Gaussian
distribution — are all consistent with current observations of the CMB and large-scale struc-
ture, and have been confirmed to new precision by WMAP and other CMB measurements.
It is not only the nearly-massless inflaton that is excited during inflation, but any nearly-
massless particle. The other important example is the graviton, which corresponds to tensor
perturbations in the metric (propagating excitations of the gravitational field). Tensor fluc-
tuations have a spectrum
A
2
T
(k) ∼
V
M
4
p

k=aH
. (219)
The existence of tensor perturbations is a crucial prediction of inflation which may in prin-
ciple be verifiable through observations of the polarization of the CMB. Although CMB
polarization has already been detected [166], this is only the E-mode polarization induced
by density perturbations; the B-mode polarization induced by gravitational waves is ex-
pected to be at a much lower level, and represents a significant observational challenge for
the years to come.
For purposes of understanding observations, it is useful to parameterize the perturbation
spectra in terms of observable quantities. We therefore write
A
2
S
(k) ∝ k
n
S
−1
(220)
and
A
2
T
(k) ∝ k
n
T
, (221)
where n
S
and n
T
are the “spectral indices”. They are related to the slow-roll parameters of
the potential by
n
S
= 1 −6 + 2η (222)
68
and
n
T
= −2 . (223)
Since the spectral indices are in principle observable, we can hope through relations such as
these to glean some information about the inflaton potential itself.
Our current knowledge of the amplitude of the perturbations already gives us important
information about the energy scale of inflation. Note that the tensor perturbations depend
on V alone (not its derivatives), so observations of tensor modes yields direct knowledge
of the energy scale. If large-scale CMB anisotropies have an appreciable tensor component
(possible, although unlikely), we can instantly derive V
inflation
∼ (10
16
GeV)
4
. (Here, the
value of V being constrained is that which was responsible for creating the observed fluc-
tuations; namely, 60 e-folds before the end of inflation.) This is remarkably reminiscent of
the grand unification scale, which is very encouraging. Even in the more likely case that the
perturbations observed in the CMB are scalar in nature, we can still write
V
1/4
inflation

1/4
10
16
GeV , (224)
where is the slow-roll parameter defined in (196). Although we expect to be small, the
1/4 in the exponent means that the dependence on is quite weak; unless this parameter is
extraordinarily tiny, it is very likely that V
1/4
inflation
∼ 10
15
-10
16
GeV.
We should note that this discussion has been phrased in terms of the simplest models of
inflation, featuring a single canonical, slowly-rolling scalar field. A number of more complex
models have been suggested, allowing for departures from the relations between the slow-roll
parameters and observable quantities; some of these include hybrid inflation [167, 168, 169],
inflation with novel kinetic terms [170], the curvaton model [171, 172, 173], low-scale models
[174, 175], brane inflation [176, 177, 178, 179, 180, 181, 182] and models where perturbations
arise from modulated coupling constants [183, 184, 185, 186, 187]. This list is necessarily
incomplete, and continued exploration of the varieties of inflationary cosmology will be a
major theme of theoretical cosmology into the foreseeable future.
5.9 Reheating and Preheating
Clearly, one of the great strengths of inflation is its ability to redshift away all unwanted
relics, such as topological defects. However, inflation is not discerning, and in doing so any
trace of radiation or dust-like matter is similarly redshifted away to nothing. Thus, at the
end of inflation the universe contains nothing but the inflationary scalar field condensate.
How then does that matter of which we are made arise? How does the hot big bang phase
of the universe commence? How is the universe reheated?
For a decade or so reheating was thought to be a relatively well-understood phenomenon.
However, over the last 5-10 years, it has been realized that the story may be quite compli-
cated. We will not have time to go into details here. Rather, we will sketch the standard
picture and mention briefly the new developments.
Inflation ends when the slow-roll conditions are violated and, in most models, the field
begins to fall towards the minimum of its potential. Initially, all energy density is in the
69
inflaton, but this is now damped by two possible terms. First, the expansion of the universe
naturally damps the energy density. More importantly, the inflaton may decay into other
particles, such as radiation or massive particles, both fermionic and bosonic [188, 189]. To
take account of this one introduces a phenomenological decay term Γ
φ
into the scalar field
equation. If we focus on fermions only, then a rough expression for how the energy density
evolves is
˙ ρ
φ
+ (3H +Γ
φ

φ
= 0 . (225)
The inflaton undergoes damped oscillations and decays into radiation which equilibrates
rapidly at a temperature known as the reheat temperature T
RH
.
In the case of bosons however, this ignores the fact that the inflaton oscillations may
give rise to parametric resonance. This is signified by an extremely rapid decay, yielding a
distribution of products that is far from equilibrium, and only much later settles down to an
equilibrium distribution at energy T
RH
. Such a rapid decay due to parametric resonance is
known as preheating [190, 191].
One interesting outcome of preheating is that one can produce particles with energy far
above the ultimate reheat temperature. Thus, one must beware of producing objects, such as
topological relics, that inflation had rid us of. However, preheating can provide some useful
effects, such as interesting new ways to generate dark matter candidates and topological
relics and to generate the baryon asymmetry [192, 193, 194, 195, 196, 197].
5.10 The Beginnings of Inflation
If inflation begins, we have seen that it achieves remarkable results. It can be shown quite
generally that the start of inflation in a previously non-inflating region requires pre-existing
homogeneity over a horizon volume [198]. It seems unlikely that classical, causal physics
could cause this and we may interpret this as an indication that quantum physics may play
a role in the process of inflation.
Although it can be shown [199, 200, 201, 202, 203] that inflation cannot be past eternal,
one consequence of quantum mechanics is that inflation may be future eternal [204, 205,
206, 207, 208]. To see this, consider inflation driven by a scalar field rolling down a simple
potential as in figure (5.10).
Imagine that, in a given space-like patch, inflation is occurring with the scalar field
at a potential energy V
1
. Although the classical motion of the scalar field is towards the
minimum of the potential, there is a nonzero probability that quantum fluctuations will
cause the inflaton to jump up to a higher value of the potential V
2
> V
1
over a sufficiently
large part of the inflating patch. In the new region, the Friedmann equation tells us that
the local Hubble parameter is now larger than in the inflating background
H
2
=

V
2
3M
2
p
>

V
1
3M
2
p
= H
1
, (226)
and requiring the region to be sufficiently large means that its linear size is at least H
−1
2
,
which may be considerably smaller than the size of the background inflationary horizon.
70
φ
V
1
V
2
V( ) φ
Figure 5.11:
Thus, inflation occurs in our new region with a larger Hubble parameter and, because of the
exponential nature of inflation, the new patch very quickly contains a much larger volume
of space than the old one.
There are, of course, parts of space in which the classical motion of the inflaton to its
minimum completes, and those regions drop out of the inflationary expansion and are free
to become regions such of our own. However, it is interesting to note that, as long as the
probability for inflation to begin at all is not precisely zero, any region like ours observed
at a later time comes from a previously inflating region with probability essentially unity.
Nevertheless, in this picture, most regions of the universe inflate forever and therefore this
process is known as eternal inflation.
If correct, eternal inflation provides us with an entirely new global view of the universe and
erases many of our worries about the initial condition problems of inflation. However, some
caution is in order when considering this model. Eternal inflation relies on the quantum
backreaction of geometry to matter fluctuations over an extended spatial region. This is
something we do not know how to treat fully at the present time. Perhaps string theory can
help us with this.
Acknowledgements
We would each like the thank the TASI organizers (Howard Haber, K.T. Mahantappa, Juan
Maldacena, and Ann Nelson) for inviting us to lecture and for creating such a vigorous and
stimulating environment for students and lecturers alike. We would also like to thank the
Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics for hospitality while these proceedings were being
completed.
The work of SMC is supported in part by U.S. Dept. of Energy contract DE-FG02-90ER-
40560, National Science Foundation Grant PHY01-14422 (CfCP) and the David and Lucile
Packard Foundation. The work of MT is supported in part by the National Science Foun-
dation (NSF) under grant PHY-0094122. Mark Trodden is a Cottrell Scholar of Research
71
Corporation.
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Contents
1 Introduction 2 Fundamentals of the Standard Cosmology 2.1 Homogeneity and Isotropy: The Robertson-Walker Metric 2.2 Dynamics: The Friedmann Equations . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.3 Flat Universes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.4 Including Curvature . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.5 Horizons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.6 Geometry, Destiny and Dark Energy . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Our 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Universe Today and Dark Energy Matter: Ordinary and Dark . . . . . . . . Supernovae and the Accelerating Universe The Cosmic Microwave Background . . . . The Cosmological Constant Problem(s) . . Dark Energy, or Worse? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 4 4 8 11 12 13 15 16 16 19 21 26 30 35 35 36 40 42 43 45 47 53 54 54 55 56 57 58 58 59 59 60 62 63 63 65

4 Early Times in the Standard Cosmology 4.1 Describing Matter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.2 Particles in Equilibrium . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.3 Thermal Relics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.4 Vacuum displacement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.5 Primordial Nucleosynthesis . . . . . . . . . . . 4.6 Finite Temperature Phase Transitions . . . . . 4.7 Topological Defects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.8 Baryogenesis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.9 Baryon Number Violation . . . . . . . . . . . 4.9.1 B-violation in Grand Unified Theories 4.9.2 B-violation in the Electroweak theory. 4.9.3 CP violation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.9.4 Departure from Thermal Equilibrium . 4.9.5 Baryogenesis via leptogenesis . . . . . 4.9.6 Affleck-Dine Baryogenesis . . . . . . . 5 Inflation 5.1 The Flatness Problem . . . . . 5.2 The Horizon Problem . . . . . . 5.3 Unwanted Relics . . . . . . . . 5.4 The General Idea of Inflation . 5.5 Slowly-Rolling Scalar Fields . . 5.6 Attractor Solutions in Inflation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

5.7 5.8 5.9 5.10

Solving the Problems of the Standard Cosmology Vacuum Fluctuations and Perturbations . . . . . Reheating and Preheating . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Beginnings of Inflation . . . . . . . . . . . .

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3

1

Introduction

The last decade has seen an explosive increase in both the volume and the accuracy of data obtained from cosmological observations. The number of techniques available to probe and cross-check these data has similarly proliferated in recent years. Theoretical cosmologists have not been slouches during this time, either. However, it is fair to say that we have not made comparable progress in connecting the wonderful ideas we have to explain the early universe to concrete fundamental physics models. One of our hopes in these lectures is to encourage the dialogue between cosmology, particle physics, and string theory that will be needed to develop such a connection. In this paper, we have combined material from two sets of TASI lectures (given by SMC in 2002 and MT in 2003). We have taken the opportunity to add more detail than was originally presented, as well as to include some topics that were originally excluded for reasons of time. Our intent is to provide a concise introduction to the basics of modern cosmology as given by the standard “ΛCDM” Big-Bang model, as well as an overview of topics of current research interest. In Lecture 1 we present the fundamentals of the standard cosmology, introducing evidence for homogeneity and isotropy and the Friedmann-Robertson-Walker models that these make possible. In Lecture 2 we consider the actual state of our current universe, which leads naturally to a discussion of its most surprising and problematic feature: the existence of dark energy. In Lecture 3 we consider the implications of the cosmological solutions obtained in Lecture 1 for early times in the universe. In particular, we discuss thermodynamics in the expanding universe, finite-temperature phase transitions, and baryogenesis. Finally, Lecture 4 contains a discussion of the problems of the standard cosmology and an introduction to our best-formulated approach to solving them – the inflationary universe. Our review is necessarily superficial, given the large number of topics relevant to modern cosmology. More detail can be found in several excellent textbooks [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]. Throughout the lectures we have borrowed liberally (and sometimes verbatim) from earlier reviews of our own [8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15]. Our metric signature is −+ ++. We use units in which h = c = 1, and define the reduced ¯ −1/2 18 Planck mass by MP ≡ (8πG) 10 GeV.

2
2.1

Fundamentals of the Standard Cosmology
Homogeneity and Isotropy: The Robertson-Walker Metric

Cosmology as the application of general relativity (GR) to the entire universe would seem a hopeless endeavor were it not for a remarkable fact – the universe is spatially homogeneous and isotropic on the largest scales. “Isotropy” is the claim that the universe looks the same in all direction. Direct evidence comes from the smoothness of the temperature of the cosmic microwave background, as we will discuss later. “Homogeneity” is the claim that the universe looks the same at every 4

(4) dr 2f (r) One of the authors has a sentimental attachment to the following argument. θ.F F’ C G β B γ D r H x A γ E Figure 2. if the metric is to be nonsingular at the origin. Choosing a point as an origin. The metric on such a spacetime is necessarily of the Robertson-Walker (RW) form. and a basic theorem of geometry states that isotropy around every point implies homogeneity. we may invoke the “Copernican principle. (1) where f (r) is a real function. dividing by 2x and taking the limit x → ∞ yields df f (2r) = . We may therefore approximate the universe as a spatially homogeneous and isotropic three-dimensional space which may expand (or. 1 EF = f (2r)γ = f (r)β .” that we do not live in a special place in the universe. Note that the two angles labeled γ are equal because of homogeneity and isotropy. More traditionally. although some evidence comes from number counts of galaxies. the spatial line element must take the form dσ 2 = dr 2 + f 2 (r) dθ2 + sin2 θdφ2 .1 Spatial isotropy implies spherical symmetry. Then it follows that. it should be isotropic around every point. It is harder to test directly. φ) around this point. as we now demonstrate. In this figure DH = HE = r.1: Geometry of a homogeneous and isotropic space. Now. contract) as a function of time.1 in the θ = π/2 plane. consider figure 2. note that EF Also Using (2) to eliminate β/γ. 5 . since he learned it in his first cosmology course [16]. point. rearranging (3). since the universe appears isotropic around us. both DE and γ are small and HA = x. (2) (3) AC = γf (r + x) = AB + BC = γf (r − x) + βf (x) . obeys f (r) ∼ r as r → 0. and using coordinates (r. in principle. Now. which.

k = 0 corresponds to local flatness.We must solve this subject to f (r) ∼ r as r → 0. (9) a(t ) 6 +1 0   −1 . ρ. These are all local statements. since spatial isotropy implies spherical symmetry about every point. and k = −1 corresponds to negatively curved (locally hyperbolic) spatial sections. we can safely choose a0 = 1. and the function a(t) is called the scale factor. as topological identifications under freely-acting subgroups of the isometry group of each manifold are allowed. up to scaling. (7) Geometrically. (6) This is a purely geometric fact. r. Assuming analyticity and writing f (r) as a power series in r it is then easy to check that. (8) . First. θ. an infinite plane or a 3-hyperboloid – but it need not be. k describes the curvature of the spatial sections (slices at constant cosmic time). independent of the details of general relativity. is to transform to conformal time. the k = 0 spatial geometry could apply just as well to a 3-torus as to an infinite plane. which is the proper time as measured by a comoving observer (one at constant spatial coordinates). which may be applied to either (5) or (7). It is easy to check that if f (r) is a solution then f (r/α) is a solution for constant α. where k = 0. which should be expected from a local theory such as GR. Also. The global topology of the spatial sections may be that of the covering spaces – a 3-sphere. sin r and sinh r are all solutions. τ . In the flat case. We are not free to do this and to simultaneously normalize |k| = 1. (5) where the three possibilities for f (ρ) are f (ρ) = {sin(ρ). A second change of variables. via t dt τ (t) ≡ . k = +1 corresponds to positively curved spatial sections (locally isometric to 3spheres). sinh(ρ)} . is referred to as cosmic time. There are two other useful forms for the RW metric. these are the only three possible solutions. Therefore. As a specific example. The time coordinate t. φ). Note that we have not chosen a normalization such that a0 = 1. without including explicit factors of the current scale factor in the metric. the most general spacetime metric consistent with homogeneity and isotropy is ds2 = −dt2 + a2 (t) dρ2 + f 2 (ρ) dθ2 + sin2 θdφ2 . We have used spherical polar coordinates (ρ. a simple change of variables in the radial coordinate yields ds2 = −dt2 + a2 (t) where k=    dr 2 + r 2 dθ2 + sin2 θdφ2 2 1 − kr if f (ρ) = sin(ρ) if f (ρ) = ρ if f (ρ) = sinh(ρ) .

v Hd. 7 . (12) This is the relationship that was discovered by Edwin Hubble. (10) where we have written a(τ ) ≡ a[t(τ )] as is conventional. Applying this to (7) yields ds2 = a2 (τ ) −dτ 2 + dr 2 + r 2 dθ2 + sin2 θdφ2 1 − kr 2 . a (11) The Hubble parameter relates how fast the most distant galaxies are receding from us to their distance from us via Hubble’s law. but it does simplify some calculations. given by H≡ a ˙ . the right plot shows much more recent data [19]. To reassure you.2: Hubble diagrams (as replotted in [17]) showing the relationship between recessional velocities of distant galaxies and their distances. The conformal time does not measure the proper time for any particular observer.2). A particularly useful quantity to define from the scale factor is the Hubble parameter (sometimes called the Hubble constant). using significantly more distant galaxies (note difference in scale). and has been verified to high accuracy by modern observational methods (see figure 2.Figure 2. The left plot shows the original data of Hubble [18] (and a rather unconvincing straight-line fit through it).

2.2

Dynamics: The Friedmann Equations

As mentioned, the RW metric is a purely kinematic consequence of requiring homogeneity and isotropy of our spatial sections. We next turn to dynamics, in the form of differential equations governing the evolution of the scale factor a(t). These will come from applying Einstein’s equation, 1 (13) Rµν − Rgµν = 8πGTµν 2 to the RW metric. Before diving right in, it is useful to consider the types of energy-momentum tensors Tµν we will typically encounter in cosmology. For simplicity, and because it is consistent with much we have observed about the universe, it is often useful to adopt the perfect fluid form for the energy-momentum tensor of cosmological matter. This form is Tµν = (ρ + p)Uµ Uν + pgµν , (14)

where U µ is the fluid four-velocity, ρ is the energy density in the rest frame of the fluid and p is the pressure in that same frame. The pressure is necessarily isotropic, for consistency with the RW metric. Similarly, fluid elements will be comoving in the cosmological rest frame, so that the normalized four-velocity in the coordinates of (7) will be U µ = (1, 0, 0, 0) . The energy-momentum tensor thus takes the form
   

(15)

ρ pgij

Tµν = 

    

,

(16)

where gij represents the spatial metric (including the factor of a2 ). Armed with this simplified description for matter, we are now ready to apply Einstein’s equation (13) to cosmology. Using (7) and (14), one obtains two equations. The first is known as the Friedmann equation, H2 ≡ a ˙ a
2

=

8πG 3

i

ρi −

k , a2

(17)

where an overdot denotes a derivative with respect to cosmic time t and i indexes all different possible types of energy in the universe. This equation is a constraint equation, in the sense that we are not allowed to freely specify the time derivative a; it is determined in terms of ˙ the energy density and curvature. The second equation, which is an evolution equation, is ˙ a 1 a ¨ + a 2 a
2

= −4πG 8

i

pi −

k . 2a2

(18)

It is often useful to combine (17) and (18) to obtain the acceleration equation a ¨ 4πG =− a 3 (ρi + 3pi ) .
i

(19)

In fact, if we know the magnitudes and evolutions of the different energy density components ρi , the Friedmann equation (17) is sufficient to solve for the evolution uniquely. The acceleration equation is conceptually useful, but rarely invoked in calculations. The Friedmann equation relates the rate of increase of the scale factor, as encoded by the Hubble parameter, to the total energy density of all matter in the universe. We may use the Friedmann equation to define, at any given time, a critical energy density, ρc ≡ 3H 2 , 8πG (20)

for which the spatial sections must be precisely flat (k = 0). We then define the density parameter ρ Ωtotal ≡ , (21) ρc which allows us to relate the total energy density in the universe to its local geometry via Ωtotal > 1 ⇔ k = +1 Ωtotal = 1 ⇔ k = 0 Ωtotal < 1 ⇔ k = −1 .

(22)

It is often convenient to define the fractions of the critical energy density in each different component by ρi . (23) Ωi = ρc Energy conservation is expressed in GR by the vanishing of the covariant divergence of the energy-momentum tensor, µν =0. (24) µT Applying this to our assumptions – the RW metric (7) and perfect-fluid energy-momentum tensor (14) – yields a single energy-conservation equation, ρ + 3H(ρ + p) = 0 . ˙ (25)

This equation is actually not independent of the Friedmann and acceleration equations, but is required for consistency. It implies that the expansion of the universe (as specified by H) can lead to local changes in the energy density. Note that there is no notion of conservation of “total energy,” as energy can be interchanged between matter and the spacetime geometry. One final piece of information is required before we can think about solving our cosmological equations: how the pressure and energy density are related to each other. Within the fluid approximation used here, we may assume that the pressure is a single-valued function of 9

the energy density p = p(ρ). It is often convenient to define an equation of state parameter, w, by p = wρ . (26) This should be thought of as the instantaneous definition of the parameter w; it need represent the full equation of state, which would be required to calculate the behavior of fluctuations. Nevertheless, many useful cosmological matter sources do obey this relation with a constant value of w. For example, w = 0 corresponds to pressureless matter, or dust – any collection of massive non-relativistic particles would qualify. Similarly, w = 1/3 corresponds to a gas of radiation, whether it be actual photons or other highly relativistic species. A constant w leads to a great simplification in solving our equations. In particular, using (25), we see that the energy density evolves with the scale factor according to 1 . (27) ρ(a) ∝ a(t)3(1+w) Note that the behaviors of dust (w = 0) and radiation (w = 1/3) are consistent with what we would have obtained by more heuristic reasoning. Consider a fixed comoving volume of the universe - i.e. a volume specified by fixed values of the coordinates, from which one may obtain the physical volume at a given time t by multiplying by a(t)3 . Given a fixed number of dust particles (of mass m) within this comoving volume, the energy density will then scale just as the physical volume, i.e. as a(t)−3 , in agreement with (27), with w = 0. To make a similar argument for radiation, first note that the expansion of the universe (the increase of a(t) with time) results in a shift to longer wavelength λ, or a redshift, of photons propagating in this background. A photon emitted with wavelength λe at a time te , at which the scale factor is ae ≡ a(te ) is observed today (t = t0 , with scale factor a0 ≡ a(t0 )) at wavelength λo , obeying λo a0 = ≡1+z . (28) λe ae The redshift z is often used in place of the scale factor. Because of the redshift, the energy density in a fixed number of photons in a fixed comoving volume drops with the physical volume (as for dust) and by an extra factor of the scale factor as the expansion of the universe stretches the wavelengths of light. Thus, the energy density of radiation will scale as a(t)−4 , once again in agreement with (27), with w = 1/3. Thus far, we have not included a cosmological constant Λ in the gravitational equations. This is because it is equivalent to treat any cosmological constant as a component of the energy density in the universe. In fact, adding a cosmological constant Λ to Einstein’s equation is equivalent to including an energy-momentum tensor of the form Λ gµν . (29) Tµν = − 8πG This is simply a perfect fluid with energy-momentum tensor (14) with ρΛ = pΛ Λ 8πG = −ρΛ , 10

(30)

so that the equation-of-state parameter is wΛ = −1 . This implies that the energy density is constant, ρΛ = constant . (32) Thus, this energy is constant throughout spacetime; we say that the cosmological constant is equivalent to vacuum energy. Similarly, it is sometimes useful to think of any nonzero spatial curvature as yet another component of the cosmological energy budget, obeying 3k ρcurv = − 8πGa2 k , (33) pcurv = 8πGa2 so that wcurv = −1/3 . (34) It is not an energy density, of course; ρcurv is simply a convenient way to keep track of how much energy density is lacking, in comparison to a flat universe. (31)

2.3

Flat Universes

It is much easier to find exact solutions to cosmological equations of motion when k = 0. Fortunately for us, nowadays we are able to appeal to more than mathematical simplicity to make this choice. Indeed, as we shall see in later lectures, modern cosmological observations, in particular precision measurements of the cosmic microwave background, show the universe today to be extremely spatially flat. In the case of flat spatial sections and a constant equation of state parameter w, we may exactly solve the Friedmann equation (27) to obtain a(t) = a0 t t0
2/3(1+w)

,

(35)

where a0 is the scale factor today, unless w = −1, in which case one obtains a(t) ∝ eHt . Applying this result to some of our favorite energy density sources yields table 1. Note that the matter- and radiation-dominated flat universes begin with a = 0; this is a singularity, known as the Big Bang. We can easily calculate the age of such a universe: 1 da 2 t0 = = . (36) 3(1 + w)H0 0 aH(a) Unless w is close to −1, it is often useful to approximate this answer by
−1 It is for this reason that the quantity H0 is known as the Hubble time, and provides a useful estimate of the time scale for which the universe has been around. −1 t0 ∼ H0 .

(37)

11

and useful when considering early cosmology. Since we include this mainly for illustration we will focus on the separate cases of dust-filled and radiation-filled FRW models with zero cosmological constant. In terms of conformal time the Einstein equations become 3(k + h2 ) = 8πGρa2 8πGρ 2 k + h2 + 2h = − a . However. 3 12 (42) . (38) where a prime denotes a derivative with respect to conformal time and h(τ ) ≡ a /a. These equations are then easily solved for h(τ ) giving cot(τ /2) h(τ ) = 2/τ   coth(τ /2)       This then yields k=1 k=0 k = −1 . the behavior of the energy densities is perfectly general.4 Including Curvature It is true that we know observationally that the universe today is flat to a high degree of accuracy. to consider how the solutions we have already identified change when curvature is included. (40)   cosh(τ ) − 1 k = −1 One may use this to derive the connection between cosmic time and conformal time. In terms of conformal time the Einstein equations become 3(k + h2 ) = 8πGρa2 k + h2 + 2h = 0 . (39) 1 − cos(τ ) k=1 2 a(τ ) ∝ τ /2 k=0 . which here is   τ − sin(τ ) k=1  3 k=0 t(τ ) ∝  τ /6 . Let us first consider models in which the energy density is dominated by matter (w = 0).Type of Energy Dust Radiation Cosmological Constant ρ(a) a−3 a−4 constant a(t) t2/3 t1/2 eHt Table 1: A summary of the behaviors of the most important sources of energy density in cosmology. The behavior of the scale factor applies to the case of a flat universe. This calculation is an example of one that is made much easier by working in terms of conformal time τ . 2. (41)  sinh(τ ) − τ k = −1 Next we consider models dominated by radiation (w = 1/3). it is instructive.

The initial singularity is the Big Bang. This behavior is not inevitable. given by reh (τo ) = τo − τe . while the final singularity is sometimes called the Big Crunch. for example. Setting θ = constant and φ = constant and working in conformal time. (44) and It is straightforward to interpret these solutions by examining the behavior of the scale factor a(τ ). we will see below how it can be altered by the presence of vacuum energy. and later recollapse again. ¯ (48) 13 . τe might represent the Big Bang ¯ ¯ singularity. (46) Now suppose τe is bounded below by τe . Similarly. ¯ (47) The physical meaning of this is illustrated in figure 2. given by rph (τo ) = τo − τe . sends a light signal to an observer. This limit is known as the event horizon distance. e. (45) 2.3. Then there exists a limit to spacetime ¯ events which can be influenced by the emitter. but most importantly in understanding the shortcomings of what we are terming the standard cosmology.Solving as we did above yields cot(τ ) h(τ ) =  1/τ  coth(τ ) sin(τ ) a(τ ) ∝  τ  sinh(τ )          k=1 k=0 k = −1 k=1 k=0 k = −1 k=1 k=0 k = −1 . who is at r = 0. however. Then there exists a maximum distance to which the observer can see. (43) .or radiation-domination. known as the particle horizon distance. the qualitative features are the same for matter. the universes with positive curvature (k = +1) expand from an initial singularity with a = 0.5 Horizons One of the most crucial concepts to master about FRW models is the existence of horizons. o. In particular this means that τo − τe = re . In both cases. suppose τo is bounded above by τo . This concept will prove useful in a variety of places in these lectures. for such radial null rays we have τo − τ = r. Suppose an emitter. 1 − cos(τ ) t(τ ) ∝  τ 2 /2  cosh(τ ) − 1 . The universes with zero or negative curvature begin at the Big Bang and expand forever.

Then there will be worldlines of other particles which do not intersect the future of o. Then there will be worldlines of other particles which do not intersect the past of o. τ=τo r Never receives message e Receives message from emitter at τ e Figure 2. meaning that they were never in causal contact.τ τ=τo o Particles already seen Particles not yet seen τ=τe −rph (τ o ) r=0 rph (τ o ) r Figure 2. 14 .3: Particle horizons arise when the past light cone of an observer o terminates at a finite conformal time. meaning that they cannot possibly influence each other.4: Event horizons arise when the future light cone of an observer o terminates at a finite conformal time.

For simplicity. we would like to explore some implications for the future of the universe. In this case.4. These horizon distances may be converted to proper horizon distances at cosmic time t. open (k = −1) and flat (k = 0). This component is characterized by an equation of state parameter w < −1/3. There were two reasons for this. of finite volume. with flat universes lying on the border between the two. before that. 2. universes with greater than the critical density would ultimately collapse. However. but rather is dark energy. which has infinite volume and hence is open. then a positively curved universe would be a 3-sphere.6 Geometry. the Hubble −1 distance cH0 provides a rough estimate of the horizon distance in a matter. GR is a local theory. for the case of pure dust-filled universes this is easily seen from (40) and (44). if one considered only the universal covering spaces. so the first of these points was never really valid. there exist perfectly good compact hyperbolic manifolds. We will have a lot more to say about this component (including the observational evidence for it) in the next lecture. Destiny and Dark Energy In subsequent lectures we will use what we have learned here to extrapolate back to some of the earliest times in the universe. let’s focus on what happens if the only energy density in the universe is a cosmological constant. Second. For a long time in cosmology. First. For example. while a negatively curved universe would be the hyperbolic 3-manifold H3 . but for now we would just like to focus on the way in which it has completely separated our concepts of geometry and destiny. the connection between geometry and destiny implied by the second point above was quite reasonable as long as dust and radiation were the only types of energy density relevant in the late universe. for example t dt . which are consistent with all our cosmological assumptions. In recent years it has become clear that the dominant component of energy density in the present universe is neither dust nor radiation. As we have already mentioned. which has finite volume and hence is closed. with dust and radiation as sources of energy density. while those with less than the critical density would expand forever. with w = −1. and the resulting interdependency between particle physics and cosmology. We will discuss the thermodynamics of the early universe.or radiationdominated universe. the Friedmann equation may be solved 15 . However. it was quite commonplace to refer to the three possible geometries consistent with homogeneity and isotropy as closed (k = 1).with physical meaning illustrated in figure 2. (49) dH ≡ a(τ )rph = a(τ )(τ − τe ) = a(t) ¯ te a(t ) −1 Just as the Hubble time H0 provides a rough guide for the age of the universe.

and before observations of galaxy distributions and CMB anisotropies had revolutionized the study of structure in the universe. for a more complete discussion. The corresponding solution for the scale factor is Λ a(t) = a0 sin  − t . Note. the k = 0 and k = −1 solutions represent coordinate patches which only cover part of the manifold. the point here is that the universe clearly expands forever in these spacetimes. let us complete the description of spaces with a cosmological constant by considering the case Λ < 0. this solution does not cover all of AdS. a dynamical field. however.” which may be a vacuum energy (cosmological constant). independently of the spatial curvature. If Λ > 0 then the solutions are a(t) = exp  a0    sinh      cosh Λ t 3 Λ t 3 Λ t 3 k = +1 k=0 k = −1 . even though we have greatly broadened the scope of what we 16 . see [20]. all solutions expand exponentially.1 Matter: Ordinary and Dark In the years before we knew that dark energy was an important constituent of the universe. For completeness. in the t → ∞ limit. these solutions are all exactly the same spacetime . These features of de Sitter space will resurface crucially when we discuss inflation.just in different coordinate systems. This spacetime is called Anti-de Sitter space (AdS) and it should be clear from the Friedmann equation that such a spacetime can only exist in a space with spatial curvature k = −1. (50) where we have encountered the k = 0 case earlier. observational cosmology sought to measure two numbers: the Hubble constant H0 and the matter density parameter ΩM . It is immediately clear that. that not all of the solutions in (50) actually cover all of de Sitter space. or something even more dramatic. irrespective of the value of the spatial curvature. and discuss the remarkable properties cosmologists have discovered in the last ten years.for any value of the spatial curvature parameter k. 3   (51) Once again.de Sitter space . Most remarkable among them is the fact that the universe is dominated by a uniformly-distributed and slowly-varying source of “dark energy. However. 3. Both of these quantities remain undeniably important. 3 Our Universe Today and Dark Energy In the previous lecture we set up the tools required to analyze the kinematics and dynamics of homogeneous and isotropic cosmologies in general relativity. In this lecture we turn to the actual universe in which we live. In fact.

24.1 [23. divide by its luminosity.04. (52) After years of effort.4.1 and 0. On the other hand. Although clusters are not representative samples of the universe. New techniques to weigh the clusters. simply because there is no way to segregate the baryons from the dark matter on such large scales. the Hubble Space Telescope Key Project on the extragalactic distance scale [21] finds h = 0. these measurements imply ΩM = ΩB /fgas = 0. we can also measure it with respect to the baryon density [29]. including gravitational lensing of background galaxies [27] and temperature profiles of the X-ray gas [28]. For years. typically yielding 0. they are sufficiently large that such a procedure has a chance of working. Most of the baryonic mass is in the hot intracluster gas [30]. which may be different inside and outside clusters. while not yet in perfect agreement with each other. noticeably smaller than the critical density. and what we will assume henceforth.71 ± 0. The Hubble constant is often parameterized in terms of a dimensionless quantity h as H0 = 100h km/sec/Mpc . (53) which is consistent with other methods [22]. a recent measurement of the relationship between the temperature and luminosity of X-ray clusters measured with the XMM-Newton satellite [36] has been interpreted as evidence for ΩM near 17 . and the lack of appreciable evolution of clusters from high redshifts to the present [34.0. Another handle on the density parameter in matter comes from properties of clusters at high redshift. reach essentially similar conclusions. The very existence of massive clusters has been used to argue in favor of ΩM ∼ 0. Rather than measuring the mass relative to the luminosity density. determinations of ΩM based on dynamics of galaxies and clusters have yielded values between approximately 0.1 .2 ± 0. determinations of this number seem to have zeroed in on a largely agreed-upon value. here we sketch some of the most important ones.06 . Studies applying the virial theorem to cluster dynamics have typically obtained values ΩM = 0.1 ≤ fgas ≤ 0.2 [33]. Since primordial nucleosynthesis provides a determination of ΩB ∼ 0. The last several years have witnessed a number of new methods being brought to bear on the question. which is very likely to have the same value in clusters as elsewhere in the universe. and extrapolate the result to the universe as a whole. (54) consistent with the value determined from mass to light ratios. The traditional method to estimate the mass density of the universe is to “weigh” a cluster of galaxies.3 ± 0.2. extrapolations from small scales do not seem to reach the critical density [26]. and the fraction fgas of total mass in this form can be measured either by direct observation of X-rays from the gas [31] or by distortions of the microwave background by scattering off hot electrons (the SunyaevZeldovich effect) [32]. Although it is possible that the global value of M/L differs appreciably from its value in clusters. 35] provides additional evidence that ΩM < 1.hope to measure. 25].

finds 0. so we should keep a careful watch for further developments in this kind of study. is not nearly enough to account for the observed matter density. matter comes in different forms. Occasionally such matter is referred to as “baryonic matter”. and agreement with the predictions of the abundances of light elements for Big-Bang nucleosynthesis (discussed in the next lecture). 44]. neutrons.36.g. Nevertheless. This determination comes from a variety of methods: direct counting of baryons (the least precise method).) Observations then yield Γ ∼ 0. and thus to ΩM . or ΩM ∼ 0. 42. but it is increasingly common to reserve the terminology for the non-baryonic component. (55) As we will see below. the matter density parameter can be extracted from measurements of the power spectrum of density fluctuations (see for example [39]). the spectrum can be fit (once the amplitude is normalized) by a single “shape parameter”. (Baryons can be dark. the mass of ordinary matter comes overwhelmingly from baryons. immediately visible or otherwise. For a more careful comparison between models and observations.02 .25. neutrons. we have a remarkable convergence on values for the density parameter in matter: 0. 46] yield Ωb = 0. however. By “ordinary matter” we mean anything made from atoms and their constituents (protons.1 ≤ ΩM ≤ 0.) 18 . this would include all of the stars.unity. but by mass they are negligible compared to protons and neutrons. for example. which we will abbreviate to simply “dark matter”. where “baryons” include protons. recent advances in very large redshift surveys have led to relatively firm determinations of the mass density. gas and dust in the universe. Our current best estimates for the baryon density [45. 43. it turns out.. planets.4 [38].1 ≤ ΩM ≤ 0. Thus. the matter we infer from its gravitational influence need not be the same kind of ordinary matter we are familiar with from our experience on Earth. Ordinary baryonic matter. The peculiar velocities of galaxies are sensitive to the underlying mass density. but also to the “bias” describing the relative amplitude of fluctuations in galaxies and mass [24. and electrons).04 ± 0. (56) where these error bars are conservative by most standards. and related particles (strongly interacting particles carrying a conserved quantum number known as “baryon number”). The story of large-scale motions is more ambiguous. Most of the matter density must therefore be in the form of non-baryonic dark matter. consistency with the CMB power spectrum (discussed later in this lecture). predicting the power spectrum requires both an assumption of the correct theory and a specification of a number of cosmological parameters. which is found to be equal to Γ = ΩM h. no massive neutrinos). In simple models (e. This last result seems at odds with a variety of other determinations. As you are undoubtedly aware. see [41. 37]. Finally. the 2df survey. with only cold dark matter and baryons. (For more complicated models see [40]. Of course electrons are conceptually an important part of ordinary matter. this value is in excellent agreement with that which we would determine indirectly from combinations of other measurements. As with the CMB.4 .

there is still a scatter of approximately 40% in the peak brightness observed in nearby supernovae. The other thing we know about cold dark matter (CDM) is that it should interact very weakly with ordinary matter. 15]. 50. so it is not a surprise that the resulting explosions are of nearly-constant luminosity. the existence of such an uncertainty would cast doubt on any attempts to study cosmology using SNe Ia as standard candles. 54]. However. we need some form of dark energy to explain a variety of observations. 56. Fortunately. allowing in principle a good handle on cosmological effects [53. covering a very large number of galaxies in a single observing run. In the next lecture we will discuss some currently popular candidates for cold dark matter. See [55. They can therefore be detected at high redshifts (z ∼ 1). Even if we could collect enough data that statistical errors could be reduced to a minimum. 51. 60]. 3.Essentially every known particle in the Standard Model of particle physics has been ruled out as a candidate for this dark matter. If the dark matter were “hot”.” which we now examine. and Type Ia’s in particular all seem to be of nearly uniform intrinsic luminosity (absolute magnitude M ∼ −19. (It seems likely that the single parameter can 19 . 59. suppressing the formation of galaxies. 57] for some recent work. Supernovae are rare — perhaps a few per century in a Milky-Way-sized galaxy — but modern telescopes allow observers to probe very deeply into small regions of the sky. The first direct evidence for this finding came from studies using Type Ia supernovae as “standardizable candles. see [48. There is thus a one-parameter family of events. crosses the Chandrasekhar limit and explodes.) The Chandrasekhar limit is a nearly-universal quantity. but it must have been that way for a very long time. and theoretical models are not yet able to accurately reproduce all of the important features of the observed events. Supernovae are also bright. (It should be noted that our understanding of supernova explosions is in a state of development. so as to have escaped detection thus far. it would have free-streamed out of overdense regions. reducing the scatter from 40% to less than 15% — sufficient precision to distinguish between cosmological models. typically comparable to the brightness of the entire host galaxy in which they appear) [52]. the observed differences in peak luminosities of SNe Ia are very closely correlated with observed differences in the shapes of their light curves: dimmer SNe decline more rapidly after maximum brightness. The fact that all SNe Ia are of similar intrinsic luminosities fits well with our understanding of these events as explosions which occur when a white dwarf. 8. For more detailed discussion of both the observational situation and the attendant theoretical problems. One of the few things we know about the dark matter is that is must be “cold” — not only is it non-relativistic today.5. and measuring the behavior of the light curve along with the apparent luminosity allows us to largely correct for the intrinsic differences in brightness. onto which mass is gradually accreting from a companion star.2 Supernovae and the Accelerating Universe The great story of fin de siecle cosmology was the discovery that matter does not dominate the universe. while brighter SNe decline more slowly [58. which can presumably be traced to differences in the composition of the white dwarf atmospheres. 49.

corrected apparent magnitude from the original SCP data is shown in Figure 3. In fact the supernova results alone allow a substantial range of possible values of ΩM and ΩΛ . we obtain ΩΛ ∼ 0.3. as of 2003 [70].Figure 3. 65. 66]. the other will be tightly constrained.7 . more nickel implies both a higher peak luminosity and a higher temperature and thus opacity. however. A plot of redshift vs. however. to claim that this behavior is well-understood theoretically. 20 (57) . The data are much better fit by a universe dominated by a cosmological constant than by a flat matter-dominated model. if we think we know something about one of these parameters. be traced to the amount of 56 Ni produced in the supernova explosion. 63.5. leading to a slower decline. 69. and the Supernova Cosmology Project [67.5: Hubble diagram from the Supernova Cosmology Project. In particular. if ΩM ∼ 0. 64. two independent groups undertook searches for distant supernovae in order to measure cosmological parameters: the High-Z Supernova Team [62. It would be an exaggeration. 70].) Following pioneering work reported in [61]. 68.

it is natural to ask what level of confidence we should have in them. Given the significance of these results. the universe implied by combining the supernova results with direct determinations of the matter density is spectacularly confirmed by measurements of the cosmic microwave background. yielding a blackbody spectrum at early times. There are a number of potential sources of systematic error which have been considered by the two teams. Shortly after this time. as we discuss in the next section. the concept of an expanding universe provides us with a clear explanation of the origin of the CMB. see the original papers [63. In fact. 69] for a thorough discussion. Blackbody radiation is emitted by bodies in thermal equilibrium. Future experiments. as we now discuss. Needless to say.3 The Cosmic Microwave Background Most of the radiation we observe in the universe today is in the form of an almost isotropic blackbody spectrum.This corresponds to a vacuum energy density ρΛ ∼ 10−8 erg/cm3 ∼ (10−3 eV)4 .7K. 64. and so without an evolving spacetime we would have no explanation for the origin of this radiation. and thus contributed to radiation. However. The small angular fluctuations in temperature of the CMB reveal a great deal about the constituents of the universe. it would be very useful to have a better understanding of both the theoretical basis for Type Ia luminosities. 21 . however. The present universe is certainly not in this state. Therefore. the photons decoupled from the now-neutral plasma and free-streamed through the universe. This phase lasted until the photons redshifted enough to allow protons and electrons to combine. the supernova studies have provided direct evidence for a nonzero value for Einstein’s cosmological constant. known as the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB). At early times the CMB photons were easily energetic enough to ionize hydrogen atoms and therefore the universe was filled with a charged plasma (and hence was opaque). Furthermore. will both help us improve our understanding of the physics of supernovae and allow a determination of the distance/redshift relation to sufficient precision to distinguish between the effects of a cosmological constant and those of more mundane astrophysical phenomena. and experimental constraints on possible systematic errors. with smaller and smaller scale factors. during the era of recombination. Most impressively. the early universe was dominated by radiation. and at sufficiently early times were relativistic. even particles which are now massive and contribute to matter used to be hotter. 3. the ratio of the energy density in radiation to that in matter grows proportionally to 1/a(t). (58) Thus. with temperature approximately 2. at early times. the density and energy densities in the universe were high enough that matter was in approximate thermal equilibrium at each point in space. We have mentioned several times the way in which a radiation gas evolves in and sources the evolution of an expanding FRW universe. including a proposed satellite dedicated to supernova cosmology [71]. It should be clear from the differing evolution laws for radiation and dust that as one considers earlier and earlier times in the universe.

and therefore that frequencies will scale inversely due to the same effect.We will have more to say about thermodynamics in the expanding universe in our next lecture. as well as a theoretical model (solid line) that fits the data rather well.) The CMB is not a perfectly isotropic radiation bath. Deviations from isotropy at the level of one part in 105 have developed over the last decade into one of our premier precision observational tools in cosmology. We have already seen that wavelengths are stretched with the cosmic expansion. CMB photons propagated freely through the universe. (Note that this strict scaling may be altered if energy is dumped into the radiation background during a phase transition. (60) This is what we mean when we refer to the universe cooling as it expands. (62) it is conventional to plot the quantity l(l + 1)Cl against l in a famous plot that is usually referred to as the CMB power spectrum. Defining the power spectrum by Cl = |alm |2 . we must comment briefly on why they occur in the first place. Such a picture requires that from place to place there were small variations in the density of matter at the time that the CMB first decoupled from the photon-baryon plasma. ν + dν] is given by the Planck distribution 1 ν 3 dν . as we discuss in the next lecture. clusters and superclusters of galaxies. nearly unaffected by anything except the cosmic expansion itself. 22 . such as that generated in the early universe.m (61) where alm are expansion coefficients and θ and φ are spherical polar angles on the sky. Subsequent to this epoch. the energy flux in the frequency range [ν. we should point out one crucial thermodynamic fact about the CMB. A blackbody distribution. To understand why. (59) P (ν. T )dν = 8πh hν/kT − 1 c e where h is Planck’s constant and k is the Boltzmann constant. Under a rescaling ν → αν. which shows the measurements of the CMB anisotropy from the recent WMAP satellite. with α=constant. but just at lower and lower temperatures. These fluctuations in the microwave background are useful to cosmologists for many reasons. However. Matter today in the universe is clustered into stars. galaxies. T ∝ 1/a . φ) . is such that at temperature T . The small temperature anisotropies on the sky are usually analyzed by decomposing the signal into spherical harmonics via ∆T = T alm Ylm (θ. the shape of the spectrum is unaltered if T → T /α.6). An example is shown in figure (3. l. Our understanding of how large scale structure developed is that initially small density perturbations in our otherwise homogeneous universe grew through gravitational instability into the objects we observe today. We therefore conclude that the effect of cosmic expansion on an initial blackbody spectrum is to retain its blackbody nature.

The error bars on this plot are 1-σ and the solid line represents the best-fit cosmological model [73]. Also shown is the correlation between the temperature anisotropies and the (E-mode) polarization.6: The CMB power spectrum from the WMAP satellite [72]. 23 .Figure 3.

However. When for example we assume a flat universe. Since we know the physical size of the horizon at last scattering. which acts to damps out the inhomogeneity. matter density (which then implies the vacuum energy density). Beyond this simple heuristic description. this provides us with a ruler on the sky. matter will have had time to fall into the resulting potential well and cause a resulting rise in temperature which. and much tighter constraints on the remaining values can be derived by assuming either an exactly flat universe.29 ± 0. If we instead assume that the Hubble constant is given by the value determined by the HST key project (53).98 ≤ Ωtotal ≤ 1. As an example we consider the results from WMAP [73].05 ΩM = 1 − ΩΛ = 0. Nevertheless. different photons were released from regions of space with slightly different gravitational potentials. this is in excellent agreement with observations. there is still some degeneracy in the parameters. therefore. the evolution of the plasma has led to intrinsic differences in the temperature from point to point. In this sense the CMB carries with it a fingerprint of the initial conditions that ultimately gave rise to structure in the universe. Since photons redshift as they climb out of gravitational potentials. Consider an overdense region of size R. but not had enough time to equilibrate . these are shown graphically in Figure 3.72 ± 0. along with constraints from the supernova experiments. gives rise to a restoring force from photon pressure. For a flat universe (k = 0. giving rise to a small temperature anisotropy in the CMB observed today. we can derive separate tight constraints on ΩM and ΩΛ . photons from some regions redshift slightly more than those from other regions.006 . The corresponding angular scale will then depend on the spatial geometry of the universe. Clearly. One very important piece of data that the CMB fluctuations give us is the value of Ωtotal . and baryon density: h = 0.047 ± 0. which therefore contracts under self-gravity over a −1 timescale R (recall c = 1). strong evidence for a flat universe.7. as can be seen in figure (3. On smaller scales. Ωtotal = 1) we expect a peak at l 220 and. in turn. we can derive values for the Hubble constant.07 ΩB = 0. careful analysis of all of the features of the CMB power spectrum (the positions and heights of each peak and trough) provide constraints on essentially all of the cosmological parameters. If R HCMB then collapse will be well underway at last scattering.R ∼ HCMB .08 (63) at 95% confidence – as mentioned. 24 .6). This means that we expect to see a peak in the CMB power spectrum at an angular size corresponding to the horizon size at last scattering. at the time of their decoupling. or a reasonable value of the Hubble constant. the maximum anisotropy will be on a scale which has had just enough −1 time to collapse. For the total density of the universe they find 0. If R HCMB then the region will not have had time to collapse −1 over the lifetime of the universe at last scattering.

7 . although it is somewhat tempered by the realization that we don’t understand any of them. The biggest mystery is the vacuum energy. as far as dark matter goes. Both of these issues will be discussed in the next lecture. The baryon density is mysterious due to the asymmetry between baryons and antibaryons. Courtesy of Licia Verde. and the small orange contours represent constraints from WMAP observations of CMB anisotropies when a prior on the Hubble parameter is included.26 ΩΛ = 0. of course. 25 .7: Observational constraints in the ΩM -ΩΛ plane. Taking all of the data together. we now turn to an exploration of why it is mysterious and what kinds of mechanisms might be responsible for its value. we obtain a remarkably consistent picture of the current constituents of our universe: ΩB = 0. we have never detected it directly and only have promising ideas as to what it might be.04 ΩDM = 0. The wide green contours represent constraints from supernovae. the vertical blue contours represent constraints from the 2dF galaxy survey.Figure 3. (64) Our sense of accomplishment at having measured these numbers is substantial. see [74] for details.

so the vacuum energy appears to be infinite. since we don’t really know what might happen at such scales. for our purposes this is a very good approximation. In curved spacetime we can still “renormalize” the vacuum energy.3. At all energies probed by experiment to date. we would expect the vacuum energy to be given by our original guess (67). if we believe classical general relativity up to the Planck scale. namely Λ(guess) ∼ L−2 . In the context of effective field theory. 4 ρ(guess) ∼ MP ∼ (1018 GeV)4 ∼ 10112 erg/cm3 . After renormalization. the vacuum energy is completely arbitrary. the world is accurately described as a set of quantum fields (at higher energies it may become strings or something else). If this cutoff is at the Planck scale. phrased as an energy density.) As we know from elementary quantum mechanics. The introduction of quantum mechanics changes this story somewhat. It has dimensions of [length]−2 (while the energy density ρΛ has units [energy/volume]). and the net result should be an integral over all of the modes. and hope that a more complete theory will eventually provide a physical justification for doing so. if a parameter has dimensions [mass]n . vac In classical general relativity the cosmological constant Λ is a completely free parameter. Planck’s constant allows us to define the reduced Planck mass Mp ∼ 1018 GeV. P or. relating the classical parameter to the quantum value by an infinite constant. as well as the reduced Planck length LP = (8πG)1/2 ∼ 10−32 cm . it is simply a constant of nature we should go out and determine through experiment. 2 Thus. the ground-state 1 ¯ or zero-point energy of an harmonic oscillator with potential V (x) = 1 ω 2 x2 is E0 = 2 hω. we recover the estimate (67). above which ignore any potential contributions. Unfortunately this integral diverges. Hence. we could introduce a cutoff energy. we expect the corresponding mass parameter to be driven up to the scale at which the effective description breaks down. and hence defines a scale. there is a natural expectation for the scale of the cosmological constant. (65) (66) (67) We can partially justify this guess by thinking about quantum fluctuations in the vacuum. just as it was in the original classical theory. each mode of a quantum field contributes to the vacuum energy. To account for our ignorance. the infinity arises from the contribution of modes with very small wavelengths. each mode of fixed wavelength behaves like a simple harmonic oscillator. 26 . For one thing. If we take the Fourier transform of a free quantum field. (“Free” means “noninteracting”. But when we use general relativity we are really using an effective field theory to describe a certain limit of quantum gravity. The strategy of decomposing a free field into individual modes and assigning a zeropoint energy to each one really only makes sense in a flat spacetime background.4 The Cosmological Constant Problem(s) Hence. perhaps it was a mistake to include such modes. while general relativity is otherwise scale-free. However. Indeed. we can’t even say whether a specific value of Λ is “large” or “small”. from purely classical considerations.

If supersymmetry exists 27 . By “matching” we mean. The good news is that. live in a supersymmetric state. it is nevertheless instructive to consider the example of supersymmetry. but the ratio of these quantities changes rapidly as the universe expands: ρΛ ΩΛ = ∝ a3 . there is no selectron with the same mass and charge as an electron. there are not any especially promising approaches to calculating the vacuum energy and getting the right answer. if degrees of freedom exactly match. relating particles of different spins. which depends on the fact that energy density has units of [energy]4 . To date. that the spin-1/2 electron must be accompanied by a spin-0 “selectron” with the same mass and charge. we claim to have measured the vacuum energy (58). it is a little unfair to emphasize the factor of 10120 . while at late times matter and radiation are negligible. other than gravity.) We do not. the net vacuum energy sums to zero. We can express the vacuum energy in terms of a mass scale. the vacuum energy presents an additional puzzle: the coincidence between the observed vacuum energy and the current matter density. The observed value is somewhat discrepant with our theoretical estimate: ρ(obs) ∼ 10−120 ρ(guess) . (69) (70) (71) so our observational result is (obs) Mvac ∼ 10−3 eV . while bosonic fields contribute a positive vacuum energy. Our best-fit universe (64) features vacuum and matter densities of the same order of magnitude. We should think of the cosmological constant problem as a discrepancy of 30 orders of magnitude in energy scale. where the absolute zero-point of energy is a meaningful concept. Supersymmetry is thus an example of a theory. In addition to the fact that it is very small compared to its natural value. Supersymmetry posits that for each fermionic degree of freedom there is a matching bosonic degree of freedom. The discrepancy is thus (obs) (guess) Mvac ∼ 10−30 Mvac . which relates to the cosmological constant problem in an interesting way. or we would have noticed it long ago. and vice-versa. Hence. Of course. (72) ΩM ρM As a consequence. There is only a brief epoch of the universe’s history during which it would be possible to witness the transition from domination by one type of component to another. vac vac (68) This is the famous 120-orders-of-magnitude discrepancy that makes the cosmological constant problem such a glaring embarrassment. at early times the vacuum energy was negligible in comparison to matter and radiation. 4 ρvac = Mvac . (This can be traced to the fact that supersymmetry is a spacetime symmetry. for fermions the contribution is negative. however.However. for example.

As an alternative to searching for some formula that gives the vacuum energy in terms of other measurable parameters. Because MP is fifteen orders of magnitude larger than Msusy . and there is good reason to believe that supersymmetry will be discovered soon at Fermilab or CERN. it may be that the vacuum energy is not a fundamental quantity. with which we could conceivably tune the answer to zero or some other small number. this is very close to the experimental bound. it must be broken at some scale Msusy . in some sense. we are left with a sizable discrepancy between theory and observation: (obs) Mvac ∼ 10−15 Msusy . solved the problem halfway (on a logarithmic scale). but the answer is still far away from what we need. We don’t turn to fundamental 28 . we are guessing that the supersymmetry-breaking scale is actually the geometric mean of the vacuum scale and the Planck scale. Unfortunately. (74) In fact. but there is no reason for this tuning to actually happen. This is encouraging. as it at least represents a step in the right direction.in nature. it is ultimately discouraging. What if instead the correct formula were Mvac ∼ Msusy Msusy ? MP (76) In other words. (Subtleties in supergravity and string theory allow us to add a negative contribution to the vacuum energy. but to be of order Mvac ∼ Msusy . What should Msusy be? One nice feature of supersymmetry is that it helps us understand the hierarchy problem – why the scale of electroweak symmetry breaking is so much smaller than the scales of quantum gravity or grand unification. and our estimate Mvac ∼ Msusy is simply incorrect. In a theory with broken supersymmetry. Unfortunately. supersymmetry renders the vacuum energy finite and calculable. Still.) But perhaps there is something deep about supersymmetry which we don’t understand. if it is connected to electroweak physics. and Msusy is fifteen orders of magnitude larger than Mvac . the vacuum energy is not expected to vanish. while (75) is actually a reliable result in this context. (experiment) (75) Compared to (71). (theory) (73) 4 with ρvac = Mvac . or Msusy ∼ 103 GeV . this guess gives us the correct answer! Unfortunately this is simply optimistic numerology. we need the supersymmetry-breaking scale to be just above the electroweak scale. since (71) was simply a guess. the simplicity with which we can write down the formula allows us to dream that an improved understanding of supersymmetry might eventually yield the correct result. there is no theory that actually yields this answer (although there are speculations in this direction [75]). we find that supersymmetry has. but simply our feature of our local environment. For supersymmetry to be relevant to the hierarchy problem.

so that even very unlikely things will sometimes occur. to which supersymmetry breaking adds just the right amount of positive vacuum energy to give a small overall value. perhaps the cosmological constant is on the same footing. and that the possible variation of other physical quantities from domain to domain is consistent with what we observe in ours.theory for an explanation of the average temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere. we need to show that there can be a huge number of different domains with slightly different values of the vacuum energy. By taking different combinations of extradimensional geometries. An obstacle to understanding these purported solutions is the role of supersymmetry. one can argue that the observed value is in excellent agreement with what we should expect [76. String theorists have been investigating novel ways to compactify extra dimensions.” To make this idea work. and that the domains can be big enough that our entire observable universe is a single domain. Recent work in string theory has lent some support to the idea that there are a wide variety of possible vacuum states rather than a unique one [83. and gauge-field fluxes. Indeed. which is an important part of string theory but needs to be broken to obtain a realistic universe. a substantially larger value than we presently observe would either have led to a rapid recollapse of the universe (if ρvac were negative) or an inability to form galaxies (if ρvac were positive). The necessary fine-tuning is accomplished simply by imagining that there are many (more than 10100 ) such states. In particular. From the point of view of a four-dimensional observer. Depending on the distribution of possible values of ρvac . 78. 79. The idea of environmental selection only works under certain special circumstances. brane configurations. each with different vacuum energies. This is the idea commonly known as the “anthropic principle. Even if such states are allowed. As is well known. it seems plausible that a wide variety of states may be constructed. Although most humans don’t think of the vacuum energy as playing any role in their lives. and we are far from understanding whether those conditions hold in our universe. inflation works to take a small region of space and expand it to a size larger than the observable universe. models of inflation generally tend to be eternal. with different local values of the vacuum energy and other physical parameters. nor are we surprised that this temperature is noticeably larger than in most places in the universe. in which crucial roles are played by branes and gauge fields. in the sense that the universe continues to inflate in some regions even after inflation has ended in others [90. our observable 29 . We still have a long way to go before we understand this possibility. where one begins with a supersymmetric state with a negative vacuum energy. 82]. then we would expect to find ourselves in a region which was hospitable to our own existence. 84. in particular. the compactifications that have small values of the cosmological constant would appear to be exactly the states alluded to earlier. it is necessary to imagine a universe in which a large number of them actually exist in local regions widely separated from each other. 86. we need to imagine that there are many different regions of the universe in which the vacuum energy takes on different values. 77. 85. Thus. 81. 80. 87. it is not clear that the many states obtained have all the desired properties [89]. 88]. 91]. it is not much of a stretch to imagine that a multitude of different domains may be separately inflated.

outside the boundary of what we can ever possibly observe. gradient. 1 1˙ ρφ = φ2 + ( φ)2 + V (φ) . it poses an interesting and challenging observational problem to study the evolution of the dark energy. There are good reasons to consider dynamical dark energy as an alternative to an honest cosmological constant. Second. 93. Vacuum energy is. 94. But again. and will at the least require a much better understanding of how both string theory (or some alternative) and inflation operate – an understanding that we will undoubtedly require a great deal of experimental input to achieve. which implies a2 ∝ a2 ρ + constant . First. 95. The energy density of a scalar field is a sum of kinetic.universe may be separated by inflating regions from other “universes” which have landed in different vacuum states. This can be seen directly from the Friedmann equation (17). cosmic acceleration implies there must be a dark energy density which diminishes relatively slowly as the universe expands. a dynamical energy density can be evolving slowly to zero. the parameters in the theory). it seems extravagant to imagine a fantastic number of separate regions of the universe. 2 2 (78) 30 . To date this hope has not quite been met. ˙ (77) From this relation. from which we might learn something about the underlying physical mechanism.5 Dark Energy. allowing for a solution to the cosmological constant problem which makes the ultimate vacuum energy vanish exactly. sometimes known as “quintessence” [92. but dynamical mechanisms at least allow for the possibility (unlike a true cosmological constant). allowing the dark energy to evolve opens the possibility of finding a dynamical solution to the coincidence problem. Nevertheless. it is clear that the only way to get acceleration (a increasing) in an ˙ −2 expanding universe is if ρ falls off more slowly than a . and potential energies. or Worse? If general relativity is correct. of course. strictly constant. but the data are consistent with smoothly-distributed sources of dark energy that vary slowly with time. just so that we may understand the value of the vacuum energy in our region. 3. The simplest possibility along these lines involves the same kind of source typically invoked in models of inflation in the very early universe: a scalar field φ rolling slowly in a potential. Perhaps most intriguingly. To decide once and for all will be extremely difficult. this is precisely what is needed to empower the idea of environmental selection. neither matter (ρM ∝ a−3 ) nor radiation (ρR ∝ a−4 ) will do the trick. if the dynamics are such as to trigger a recent takeover by the dark energy (independently of. 96. or at least for a wide range of. this doesn’t mean it isn’t true. 97].

we therefore need to invoke additional fine-tunings to explain why the quintessence field has not already been experimentally detected. many investigations have considered scalar fields with potentials that asymptote gradually to zero. They do not. of the form e1/φ or 1/φ. which modifies the form of the kinetic ˙ energy for the scalar field. Masses of 10−33 eV are correspondingly harder to understand. On top of that. light scalar fields are unnatural. For certain choices of these functions. we might hope that its energy density becomes constant only after matter/radiation equality. Most quintessence models feature scalar fields φ with masses of order the current Hubble scale. renormalization effects tend to drive scalar masses up to the scale of new physics.For a homogeneous field ( φ ≈ 0). introducing dynamics opens up the possibility of introducing new problems. To date. should be so much smaller than the grand unification/Planck scale. the equation of motion in an expanding universe is ¨ ˙ dV = 0 . these apparent fine-tunings might be worth the price. Nevertheless. the k-essence field naturally tracks the evolution of the total radiation energy density during 31 . in k-essence 2 we posit a form ˙ K = f (φ)g(φ2) . (81) (Fields with larger masses would typically have already rolled to the minimum of their potentials. φ + 3H φ + dφ (79) If the slope of the potential V is quite flat. (82) where f and g are functions specified by the model. mφ ∼ H0 ∼ 10−33 eV . the form and severity of which will depend on the specific kind of model being considered. provide a solution to the coincidence problem. 99]. including “tracking” behavior that makes the current energy density largely independent of the initial conditions [100]. The well-known hierarchy problem of particle physics amounts to asking why the Higgs mass.and radiation-dominated universes.) In quantum field theory. Instead of a conventional kinetic energy K = 1 (φ)2 . light scalar fields give rise to long-range forces and time-dependent coupling constants that should be observable even if couplings to ordinary matter are suppressed by the Planck scale [98. thought to be of order 1011 eV. These can have cosmologically interesting properties. the energy density in such a configuration is ρφ ≈ V (φ) ≈ constant . One way to address the coincidence problem is to take advantage of the fact that matter/radiation equality was a relatively recent occurrence (at least on a logarithmic scale). However. however. if a scalar field has dynamics which are sensitive to the difference between matter. a slowly-rolling scalar field is an appropriate candidate for dark energy. if we were somehow able to explain the coincidence problem. 1025 -1027 eV. (80) Thus. we will have solutions for which φ is nearly constant throughout space and only evolving very gradually with time. as the era in which the scalar field begins to dominate is still set by finely-tuned parameters in the theory. An approach which takes this route is k-essence [101].

and in both cases the behavior still depends sensitively on the precise form of parameters and interactions chosen. and. a different value for the equation of state parameter. to the Einstein frame. An alternative possibility is that there is nothing special about the present era. which we call the matter frame. in neither the k-essence models nor the oscillating models do we have a compelling particle-physics motivation for the chosen dynamics. see figure (3. It is therefore convenient to transform from the frame used in 84. both today and its redshift-dependence. Even if one restricts one’s attention to more conventional matter sources. however. (84) Here µ is a new parameter with units of [mass] and LM is the Lagrangian density for matter. these theories stand as interesting attempts to address the coincidence problem by dynamical means. Since the CMB strongly constrains the total density to be near the critical value. (83) On average. consider the simplest correction to the Einstein-Hilbert action. As can be seen in (3. rather. 112. one possibility that is consistent with the data is that w < −1. Instead we will provide an example drawn from our own proposal [112]. it is worthwhile considering the possibility that cosmic acceleration is not due to some kind of stuff. Unfortunately. the dark energy in such a model will track that of the dominant matter/radiation component. 111. Such a possibility violates the dominant energy condition. In principle. Given the challenge of this problem. leading to occasional periods of acceleration. The fourth-order equations arising from this action are complicated and it is difficult to extract details about cosmological evolution from them. Nevertheless. there are a number of different approaches to this [108. where 32 . in particular. As a first attempt. different dark energy models can yield different cosmic histories. One of the interesting features of dynamical dark energy is that it is experimentally testable. acceleration is just something that happens from time to time. there will be gradual oscillations from a negligible density to a dominant density and back. but switches to being almost constant once matter begins to dominate. on a timescale set by the Hubble parameter. it seems necessary to choose a finely-tuned kinetic term to get the desired behavior [102]. 109. However. such models run into serious problems when one takes them seriously as a particle physics theory [106. In these models the potential takes the form of a decaying exponential (which by itself would give scaling behavior. 110. it is sensible to assume a perfectly flat universe and determine constraints on the matter density and dark energy equation of state. 107].8). S= 2 Mp 2 √ µ4 d4 x −g R − R + √ d4 x −g LM . This can be accomplished by oscillating dark energy [103]. so that the dark energy remained proportional to the background density) with small perturbations superimposed: V (φ) = e−φ [1 + α cos(φ)] . but possible models have been proposed [105]. Unfortunately. but rather arises from new gravitational physics. making dark energy compatible with sensible particle physics has proven tremendously difficult.radiation domination.8) for some recent limits. 113] and we will not review them all here.

large-scale structure. and primordial nucleosynthesis. assuming a flat universe. measurements of the Hubble constant.8: Constraints on the dark-energy equation-of-state parameter. CMB anisotropies. From [104]. as a function of ΩM . Supern Ωmatter ovae 68% 95% 99% 33 .99% CMB+WMAP+HST+SN-Ia+ LSS+BBN 68% 95% WQ Figure 3. These limits are derived from studies of supernovae.

the field overshoots the maximum of V (φ) and the Universe evolves to late-time power-law inflation. There are then three qualitatively distinct outcomes. 2. with observational consequences similar to dark energy with equation-of-state parameter wDE = −2/3. Finally. There is a critical value of φ i ≡ φ C for which φ just reaches the maximum of the potential V (φ) and comes to rest. This yields a future curvature singularity. 3. 1. Clearly our choice of correction to the gravitational action can be generalized. it is possible to show that the three possible cosmic futures identified in the vacuum case remain in the presence of matter. depending on the value of φ i . 3 Mp   (85) Now let us first focus on vacuum cosmological solutions. In this case the Universe asymptotically evolves to a de Sitter solution. Terms of the form −µ2(n+1) /Rn . our theory is that of a scalar field φ(xµ ) ˜ minimally coupled to Einstein gravity. lead to similar late-time self acceleration. with behavior similar to a dark energy component with equation of state parameter weff = −1 + 2(n + 2) . with n > 1.45 < wDE < −0. The initial conditions we must specify are the initial values of φ and φ . with potential 2 φ  2 V (φ) = µ2 Mp exp −2 3 Mp   2 φ  exp  −1 . since any perturbation will induce the field to roll away from the maximum of its potential. 73] on the equation of state parameter −1. Eternal de Sitter. of course.74 (95% confidence level). 3(2n + 1)(n + 1) (86) Clearly therefore. For simplicity we take φi Mp . any modification of the Einstein-Hilbert action must. the corrections to the standard cosmology only become important at the present epoch. In the more interesting case in which the Universe contains matter. The beginning of the Universe corresponds to R → ∞ and φ → 0. This solution requires tuning and is unstable. For φ i < φ C . performing a simultaneous redefinition of the time coordinate. In the asymptotic regime n = 1 is ruled out at this level. and non-minimally coupled to matter. By choosing µ ∼ 10−33 eV. as well as numerous other astrophysical 34 . even n = 1 is permitted if we are near the top of the potential. such a tuning appears no more attractive than the traditional choice of the cosmological constant. Since we have no particular reason for this choice. while n ≥ 2 is allowed. Power-Law Acceleration. such modifications can easily accommodate current observational bounds [104. The details of this can be found in [112].the gravitational Lagrangian takes the Einstein-Hilbert form and the additional degrees of ¨ ˙ freedom (H and H) are represented by a fictitious scalar field φ. in terms of the new metric gµν . φ does not reach the maximum of its potential and rolls back down to φ = 0. Here we just state that. making this theory a candidate to explain the observed acceleration of the Universe without recourse to dark energy. For φ i > φ C . denoted as φi and φ i . Future Singularity. be consistent with the classic solar system tests of gravity theory.

The energy-momentum tensor is covariantly conserved. µT µν =0. (88) In a more complete description. using what we know of the laws of physics and the universe today to infer conditions in the early universe. but we have also introduced a new light degree of freedom. and would therefore be inconsistent with experiment. or considering extensions of the original model. (87) where U µ is the fluid four-velocity. In this lecture we wind the clock back. This quantity is not conserved. which is also conserved µN µ =0. Chiba [114] has pointed out that the model with n = 1 is equivalent to Brans-Dicke theory with ω = 0 in the approximation where the potential was neglected. (91) 35 . 4 Early Times in the Standard Cosmology In the first lecture we described the kinematics and dynamics of homogeneous and isotropic cosmologies in general relativity. Early times were characterized by very high temperatures and densities. (89) For non-tachyonic matter N µ is a timelike 4-vector and therefore we may decompose it as N µ = nU µ . 4.” and discuss how thermodynamics works in an expanding universe. with many particle species kept in (approximate) thermal equilibrium by rapid interactions. a fluid will be characterized by quantities in addition to the energy density and pressure.dynamical tests. while in the second we discussed the situation in our current universe. described by an energy-momentum tensor Tµν = (ρ + p)Uµ Uν + pgµν . (90) We can also introduce an entropy flux density S µ . Many fluids have a conserved quantity associated with them and so we will also introduce a number flux density N µ . We have chosen the coupling constant µ to be very small. but rather obeys a covariant version of the second law of thermodynamics µS µ ≥0.1 Describing Matter In the first lecture we discussed how to describe matter as a perfect fluid. could alter this conclusion. ρ is the energy density in the rest frame of the fluid and p is the pressure in that same frame. It is not yet clear whether including the potential. We will therefore have to move beyond a simple description of non-interacting “matter” and “radiation.

black holes). the expansion rate in the early universe is “slow. up to an additive constant (that we can consistently set to zero). As a good rule of thumb. It is useful to resolve S µ into components parallel and perpendicular to the fluid 4-velocity S µ = sU µ + sµ . and we typically do this in such a way as to treat n and s as independent variables. out of equilibrium (decoupled). it suffices for a wide variety of fluids relevant to cosmology. fermionic. Let us begin by discussing the conditions under which a particle species will be in equilibrium with the surrounding thermal plasma. A particle species for which the interaction rates have fallen below the expansion rate of the universe is said to have frozen out or decoupled.. equation (25). (92) with dS = 0. which can be thought of as the first law of thermodynamics dU = T dS − pdV .Not all phenomena are successfully described in terms of such a local entropy vector (e. most importantly. it will be decoupled whenever Γ H .” and particles tend to be in thermal equilibrium (unless they are very weakly coupled). (95) where the Hubble constant H sets the cosmological timescale. (93) where sµ U µ = 0. T (94) In addition to all these quantities. If the interaction rate of some particle with the background plasma is Γ. The scalar s is the rest-frame entropy density which. we must specify an equation of state. non-relativistic. we then have T H∼ T . The conservation law for the energy-momentum tensor yields. 4. A given species remains in thermal equilibrium as long as its interaction rate is larger than the expansion rate of the universe. This can be seen from the Friedmann equation when the energy density is dominated by a plasma with ρ ∼ T 4 . (96) Mp 36 . In this section we consider species which are in equilibrium with the surrounding thermal bath. equilibrium requires it to be possible for the products of a given reaction have the opportunity to recombine in the reverse reaction and if the expansion of the universe is rapid enough this won’t happen.2 Particles in Equilibrium The various particles inhabiting the early universe can be usefully characterized according to three criteria: in equilibrium vs. bosonic vs. fortunately. Roughly speaking. and relativistic (velocities near c) vs.g. can be written as s= ρ+p .

(98) The distribution function characterizes the density of particles in a given momentum bin. Once they become non-relativistic. where the three-momentum p satisfies E 2 (p) = m2 + |p|2 . remain in approximately equal abundances in equilibrium. equilibrium becomes possible. the universe may be expanding so quickly that no species are in equilibrium. In the usual accounting. as the expansion rate slows. the interaction rate Γ for a particle with crosssection σ is typically of the form Γ = n σv . (100) where the plus sign is for fermions and the minus sign for bosons. The results are shown in table 2. and pressure of some species labeled i are given by ni = ρi pi gi (2π)3 gi = (2π)3 gi = (2π)3 fi (p)d3 p E(p)fi (p)d3 p |p|2 fi (p)d3 p . for example). Relativistic particles. However. energy density. From this table we can extract several pieces of relevant information. while for a massive vector boson such as the Z we have gZ = 3. 37 . and ζ(3) ≈ 1. for spin-1/2 electrons and positrons we have ge− = ge+ = 2. thus.) The number density. This is simply because it becomes progressively harder for massive particle-antiparticle pairs to be produced in a plasma with T m. no species are in equilibrium with the background plasma (represented by the CMB photons). For massless photons we have gγ = 2. We can do the integrals over the distribution functions in two opposite limits: particles which are highly relativistic (T m) or highly non-relativistic (T m). In thermal equilibrium at a temperature T the particles will be in either Fermi-Dirac or Bose-Einstein distributions. their abundance plummets. whether bosons or fermions. In our current universe. the Hubble parameter is suppressed with respect to the temperature by a factor of T /Mp . For a gas of weakly-interacting particles. (97) where n is the number density and v a typical particle velocity. Now let us focus on particles in equilibrium.202. the density of particles will eventually dip so low that equilibrium can once again no longer be maintained. At extremely early times (near the Planck era. Since n ∝ a−3 . 3E(p) (99) where gi is the number of spin states of the particles. f (p) = 1 eE(p)/T ± 1 .Thus. particles and antiparticles are treated as separate species. however. in which ζ is the Riemann zeta function. (In general it will also be a function of the spatial position x. but we suppress that here. and becomes exponentially suppressed with respect to the relativistic species. we can describe the state in terms of a distribution function f (p).

and pressure. As we mentioned in our discussion of the CMB in the previous lecture. even decoupled photons maintain a thermal distribution. but simply because the distribution function redshifts into a similar distribution with a lower temperature proportional to 1/a. this should be a safe assumption. electrons and positrons annihilate into photons. For non-relativistic particles the temperature is proportional to the 1 kinetic energy 2 mv 2 . while the photon temperature is 3K. It is interesting to note that. since their energy densities scale differently the early universe was radiation-dominated. with the possible exception of massive neutrinos. we expect a neutrino background in the current universe with a temperature of approximately 2K. for species in thermal equilibrium. dumping energy (and entropy) into the plasma but leaving the neutrinos unaffected. energy density. although matter is much more dominant than radiation in the universe today. We therefore have Tirel (a) = Tf Tinon−rel (a) = Tf 38 af a 2 . A similar effect occurs for particles which are non-relativistic at decoupling. (104) . We can write the ratio of the density parameters in matter and radiation as ΩM0 a ΩM0 ΩM = = (1 + z)−1 . with one important difference. shortly thereafter. Consequently. neutrinos decouple at a temperature around 1 MeV. ΩR0 (102) This expression assumes that the particles that are non-relativistic today were also nonrelativistic at zeq .Relativistic Bosons ni ρi pi ζ(3) g T3 π2 i π2 g T4 30 i 1 ρ 3 i Relativistic Fermions 3 4 7 8 ζ(3) g T3 π2 i π2 g T4 30 i 1 ρ 3 i Non-relativistic (Either) gi mi T 2π 3/2 e−mi /T mi ni ni T ρi Table 2: Number density. which redshifts as 1/a2 . (103) a For example. this is not because they are in equilibrium. We can therefore speak of the “effective temperature” of a relativistic species that freezes out at a temperature Tf and scale factor af : af . (101) ΩR ΩR0 a0 ΩR0 The redshift of matter-radiation equality is thus 1 + zeq = ΩM0 ≈ 3 × 103 . which make a minority contribution to the total density.

A better approximation is to say that the comoving entropy density is conserved. (In fact. to obtain the simple formula ρ= π2 g∗ T 4 . entropy will only be produced at a process like a first-order phase transition or an out-of-equilibrium decay.In either case we are imagining that the species freezes out while relativistic/non-relativistic and stays that way afterward. In the Standard Model. we expect 39 .) Then the total energy density in all relativistic species comes from adding the contributions of each species. The notion of an effective temperature allows us to define a corresponding notion of an effective number of relativistic degrees of freedom. assumed to be in equilibrium. The effective number of relativistic degrees of freedom (as far as energy is concerned) can be defined as g∗ = bosons gi Ti T 4 + 7 Ti gi 8 fermions T 4 . g∗ and g∗ S will typically be very close to each other. so we define the effective number of relativistic degrees of freedom for entropy as g∗S = bosons gi Ti T 3 7 Ti + gi 8 fermions T 3 . which in turn permits a compact expression for the total relativistic energy density. and the annihilation of electron/positron pairs at 1 MeV. From (94). if it freezes out while relativistic and subsequently becomes non-relativistic. (105) (The temperature T is the actual temperature of the background plasma. Because of the release of energy into the background plasma when species annihilate. the entropy density in relativistic particles goes as T 3 rather than T 4 . (110) This will hold under all forms of adiabatic evolution. (107) The entropy density in relativistic species is then s= 2π g∗S T 3 . The events that change the effective number of relativistic degrees of freedom are the QCD phase transition at 300 MeV. it is only an approximation to say that the temperature goes as T ∝ 1/a. 30 (106) We can do the same thing for the entropy density. 45 (108) Numerically. the distribution function will be distorted away from a thermal spectrum. we have   100 T > 300 MeV g∗ ≈ g∗S ∼ 10 300 MeV > T > 1 MeV (109)  3 T < 1 MeV . s ∝ a−3 .

) In this section we will typically neglect factors of order unity. and a species which decouples during this period will be diluted by a factor of between 1 and 100 depending on precisely when it freezes out. (113) We express this number as 102 rather than 411 since the roughness of our estimate does not warrant such misleading precision. and adiabatic evolution is an excellent approximation for almost the entire early universe. particles have a number density that is proportional to T 3 in equilibrium. nX0 ∼ nγ0 ∼ 102 cm−3 . So. Thus. and a corresponding contribution to the density parameter (if they are nevertheless heavy enough to be nonrelativistic today) of Ω0. (112) Since this is comparable to the number density of photons at that time. −1/3 (111) The temperature will consistently decrease under adiabatic evolution in an expanding universe. for example. or axions produced by vacuum misalignment. and after freeze-out both photons and our species X just have their number densities dilute by a factor a(t)−3 as the universe expands. 4. examples might include baryons produced by GUT baryogenesis. the number density of photons increases by a factor of approximately 100 between the electroweak phase transition and today.that the entropy production from such processes is very small compared to the total entropy.) Combining entropy conservation with the expression (108) for the entropy density in relativistic species. or hot. it is simple to see that the abundance of X particles today should be comparable to the abundance of CMB photons. 92 eV 40 (114) . The leading correction to this value is typically due to the production of additional photons subsequent to the decoupling of X.3 Thermal Relics As we have mentioned.ν = mν h−2 . eventually the density becomes so low that interactions become infrequent. particles typically do not stay in equilibrium forever. (Of course it is also possible to obtain a significant relic abundance for particles which were never in thermal equilibrium. discussed in the next lecture. it is important to study the relic abundance of decoupled species. in the Standard Model. we obtain a better expression for the evolution of the temperature. a species X that freezes out while still relativistic will have a number density at freeze-out Tf given by nX (Tf ) ∼ Tf3 . but it decreases more slowly when the effective number of relativistic degrees of freedom is diminished. One exception is inflation. and the particles freeze out. T ∝ g∗S a−1 . Since essentially all of the particles in our current universe fall into this category. neutrinos which are light (mν < MeV) have a number density today of nν = 115 cm−3 per species. We have seen that relativistic.

in which case it is reasonable to say that the density parameter does depend on the mass. Of course. we may use variables in which σ0 is a function of mX . should be σ0 ∼ αW GF . for you will have heard it used in a cosmological context applied to cold dark matter (CDM). The Hubble constant is H0 ∼ 10−42 GeV. σ0 mX MP (115) Since the particles are nonrelativistic when they decouple. and their energy density is ρX = mX nX . If σ0 is the annihilation cross-section of the species X at a temperature T = mX . we cut to the chase and simply provide a reasonable approximate expression. The accurate calculation typically involves numerical integration of the Boltzmann equation for a network of interacting particle species. GeV2 ) (118) It is interesting to note that this final expression is independent of the mass mX of our relic. since they are weakly interacting. nγ ρX ∼ . this depends on how we choose to characterize our theory. that’s because more massive particles will have a lower relic abundance. (117) ΩX = 3 2 ρcr σ0 Mp H0 Numerically. so this is a reliable answer. when h = c = 1 we have 1 GeV∼ 2 × 10−14 cm. It is much harder to accurately calculate the relic abundance of a cold relic than a hot one. Let us see briefly why this is. (116) We can plug in numbers for the Hubble parameter and photon density to obtain the density parameter. and only depends on the annihilation cross-section. they will certainly be nonrelativistic today. This is large enough to be interesting without being large enough to make neutrinos be the dark matter. so we obtain ΩX ∼ σ0 (109 1 . the final number density in terms of the photon density works out to be nX (T < Tf ) ∼ 1 nγ . The annihilation cross2 section of these particles. simply because the equilibrium abundance of a nonrelativistic species is changing rapidly with respect to the background plasma. since the large velocities of neutrinos make them free-stream out of overdense regions. a neutrino with mν ∼ 10−2 eV would contribute Ων ∼ 2×10−4 . so the photon density today is ¯ nγ ∼ 100 cm−3 ∼ 10−39 GeV−3 . Now consider instead a species X which is nonrelativistic or cold at the time of decoupling. One candidate for CDM is a Weakly Interacting Massive Particle (WIMP). diminishing primordial perturbations and leaving us with a universe which has much less structure on small scales than we actually observe. where αW 41 . and we have to be quite precise following the freeze-out process to obtain a reliable answer. here.(In this final expression we have secretly taken account of the missing numerical factors. The designation cold may ring a bell with many of you. and the Planck mass is Mp ∼ 1018 GeV.) Thus. That’s good news.

The vacuum energy is converted to a combination of vacuum and kinetic energy which will redshift like matter. For H > mφ the field will be overdamped. V (φ) = 1 m2 φ2 .” Consider the action for a real scalar field in curved spacetime: S= √ 1 d4 x −g − g µν ∂µ φ∂ν φ − V (φ) . since it may be possible to produce and detect such particles in colliders and to directly detect a WIMP background in cryogenic detectors in underground laboratories. (119) Thus. which derives from what we might call “vacuum displacement. and so provides a perfect candidate for cold dark matter.is the weak coupling constant and GF is the the Fermi constant. The Hubble parameter H will φ ∗ decrease to approximately mφ when the temperature reaches T∗ = mφ Mp . the total energy 1 density in the field is simply the potential energy 2 m2 φ2 . (122) where an overdot indicates a partial derivative with respect to time. and (122) 2 φ describes a harmonic oscillator with a time-dependent damping term. A paradigmatic example is provided by the lightest supersymmetric partner (LSP). this will be a major experimental effort over the next few years [13]. 4. its equation of motion in the Robertson-Walker metric (5) will be ¨ ˙ φ + 3H φ + V (φ) = 0 . Let’s discuss another kind of non-thermal relic. stuck at a value φ = φ∗ . An example of these will be discussed later in this lecture: the production of topological defects at phase transitions. 42 . if it is stable and supersymmetry is broken at the weak scale. a stable particle with a weak interaction cross section naturally produces a relic density of order the critical density today. we get 2 σ0 ∼ αW GF ∼ 10−9 GeV−2 . and a prime indicates a derivative with respect to φ. 2 (121) If we assume that φ is spatially homogeneous (∂i φ = 0). the density parameter in such particles would be ΩX ∼ 1 . (120) In other words. after which the field will be able to evolve and will begin to oscillate in its potential. So let us imagine that at some time in the very early universe (when H was large) we had such an overdamped homogeneous scalar field. Such a possibility is of great interest to both particle physicists and cosmologists. Using GF ∼ (300GeV)−2 and αW ∼ 10−2 . For a free massive scalar field. and stay essentially constant at whatever point in the potential it finds itself.4 Vacuum displacement Another important possibility is the existence of relics which were never in thermal equilibrium.

Observations of primordial nebulae reveal abundances of the light elements unexplained by stellar nucleosynthesis. even some of the more important concepts in cosmology cannot be dealt with in significant detail. (123) . which has a typical primordial value φ ∼ fPQ and a mass mφ ∼ Λ2 /fPQ . 117]. (124) A classic example of a non-thermal relic produced by vacuum displacement is the QCD axion. The neutrons have a finite lifetime (τn = 890 sec) that is somewhat larger than the age of the universe at this epoch. We will therefore have a∗ 1 ρφ (a) ∼ m2 φ2 φ ∗ 2 a which leads to a density parameter today Ω0. (125) The Peccei-Quinn scale is essentially a free parameter from a theoretical point of view.φ ∼ φ4 mφ ∗ −19 GeV5 10 1/2 3 . The axion therefore remains a viable dark matter candidate [115. t(1 MeV) ≈ 1 sec. which can be traced to the non-thermal nature of their production process.φ ∼ fPQ 1013 GeV 3/2 . Note that. not to mention the difficulties of measuring the abundances. in a particle interpretation. the field is a Bose condensate of zero-momentum particles. Although it does a great disservice to the analytic and numerical work required. we will just state that the study of nuclear processes in the background of an expanding cooling universe yields a remarkable concordance between theory and experiment.) 4. plugging in numbers reveals Ω0. The equilibrium abundance of neutrons at this temperature is about 1/6 the abundance of protons (due to the slightly larger neutron mass). We have chosen just to give a cursory treatment to primordial nucleosynthesis.5 Primordial Nucleosynthesis Given our time constraints. At temperatures below 1 MeV. although its importance as a crucial piece of evidence in favor of the big bang model and its usefulness in bounding any new physics of cosmological relevance cannot be overstated. but experiments and astrophysical constraints have ruled out most values except for a small window around fPQ ∼ 1012 GeV. the weak interactions are frozen out and neutrons and protons cease to interconvert. In this case. where QCD fPQ is the Peccei-Quinn symmetry-breaking scale and ΛQCD ∼ 0. (Another important way to produce axions is through the decay of axion cosmic strings [1. 116]. even though dark matter axions are very light (Λ2 /fPQ ∼ 10−4 eV).3 GeV is the QCD scale [1].as ρφ ∝ a−3 . QCD they are extremely non-relativistic. but they begin to gradually decay into protons and 43 .

Nucleosynthesis would therefore happen somewhat earlier. and Big-Bang nucleosynthesis (BBN) begins. Of course these numbers are predictions. Of all the light nuclei. imagine that we deviate from the Standard Model by introducing more than three light neutrino species. and 7 Li (∼ 10−10 ). 3 He (also ∼ 10−5 ). This would increase the radiation energy density at a fixed temperature. Observations of the primordial helium abundance. In addition. provided the first evidence that the number of light neutrinos is actually three.) At that point the neutron/proton ratio is approximately 1/7.1 × 10−10 +0. we reach a temperature somewhat below 100 keV. which are borne out by observations of the primordial abundances of light elements. (Heavier elements are not synthesized in the Big Bang.6 × 10−10 < η < 6. The most amazing fact about nucleosynthesis is that. This is illustrated in figure (4. For example. it is energetically favorable for the nucleons to reside in 4 He. especially those which explain how the different abundances depend on the cosmological parameters. the large number of photons per nucleon prevents nucleosynthesis from taking place until the temperature drops below 100 keV. which in turn decreases the timescales associated with a given −1/2 temperature (since t ∼ H −1 ∝ ρR ). and indeed that is what most of the free neutrons are converted into. however.2×10−10 (128) from precise measurements of the relative heights of the first two microwave background (CMB) acoustic peaks by the WMAP satellite. resulting in a higher abundance of neutrons.9) and we will have a lot more to say about this quantity later when we discuss baryogenesis. Soon thereafter. Thus. 44 . however.) We have glossed over numerous crucial details.3×10−10 −0. s s (126) where nB = nb − n¯ is the difference between the number of baryons and antibaryons per b unit volume. and hence in a larger abundance of 4 He. the relative abundances of the light elements depend essentially on just one parameter. we end up with one helium nucleus and twelve protons. so you might expect that nucleosynthesis would occur earlier. (The nuclear binding energy per nucleon is typically of order 1 MeV. but require supernova explosions in the later universe. (127) Very recently this number has been independently determined to be η = 6.leptons. which are consistent with the Standard Model prediction.2 × 10−10 . given that the universe is radiation dominated during the relevant epoch (and the physics of general relativity and the Standard Model). there are trace amounts of deuterium (approximately 10−5 deuterons per proton). for every two neutrons and fourteen protons. about 25% of the baryons by mass are converted to helium. The range of η consistent with the deuterium and 3 He primordial abundances is 2. the baryon to entropy ratio η≡ n − n¯ nB b = .

The vertical strip indicates the concordance region favored by observations of primordial abundances. The effect of cosmic expansion and the associated thermodynamics yield some fascinating phenomena when combined with such a field theory approach. Consider a theory of a single real scalar field φ at zero 45 .Figure 4. 4. it is natural to consider using field theory to model matter at early times in the universe. Rather than performing a detailed calculation in finite-temperature field theory. From [47]. we will illustrate this with a rough argument.9: Abundances of light elements produced by BBN. Given our modern understanding of particle physics. One significant example is provided by finite temperature phase transitions.6 Finite Temperature Phase Transitions We have hinted at the need to go beyond perfect fluid sources for the Einstein equations if we are to unravel some of the mysteries left by the standard cosmology. as a function of the baryon density.

However. consider what the effective theory for φ looks like if we assume that χ is in thermal equilibrium. as we discuss below. the vacuum state of the theory respected the full symmetry of the Lagrangian. (132) g the full Z2 symmetry of the Lagrangian is respected by the finite temperature ground state. The melding of ideas from particle physics and cosmology described above leads us to speculate that matter in the early universe was described by a unified gauge field theory based on a simple continuous Lie group. At zero temperature. For particle physicists this amounts to the statement that the chosen vacuum state of a gauge field theory is one which does not respect the underlying symmetry group of the Lagrangian. As the universe cooled. The Lagrangian density is 1 g 1 L = − ∂µ φ∂ µ φ − ∂µ χ∂ µ χ − V (φ. we hypothesize that the gauge theory underwent a series of spontaneous symmetry breakings (SSB) until matter was finally described by the unbroken gauge groups of QCD and QED. 2 2 2 with potential V (φ. at temperatures above the critical temperature Tc given by µ Tc = √ . is called finite temperature spontaneous symmetry breaking. in this case the global Z2 symmetry of the Lagrangian is broken by the ground state value φ = 0 (we shall see more of this soon). T = 0) − φ2 χ2 . As a result of the extreme temperatures of the early universe. 2 4 (131) This simple example demonstrates a very significant result. 46 . (130) 2 4 where µ is a parameter with dimensions of mass and λ and g are dimensionless coupling constants. T = 0) = − (129) µ2 2 λ 4 φ + φ . Schematically the symmetry breaking can be represented by G → H → · · · → SU(3)c × SU(2)L × U(1)Y → SU(3)c × U(1)em . which is now at φ = 0. Zero temperature unification and symmetry breaking are fundamental features of modern particle physics models. In this case. This behavior is know as finite temperature symmetry restoration. and its inverse. G. we may replace χ by the temperature T to obtain a Lagrangian for φ only. occurring as the universe cools. with finite temperature effective potential given by V (φ. all your particle physics intuition tells you correctly that the theory is spontaneously broken.temperature. (133) The group G is known as the grand unified gauge group and the initial breaking G → H and is expected to take place at 1016 GeV. interacting with a second real scalar field χ. Now. T ) = 1 λ gT 2 − µ2 φ2 + φ4 .

In general. the vacuum manifold. is defined to be the space of cosets of H in G. . (135) for some i = 0. The set of topologically equivalent maps with fixed base point from such such a sphere into a manifold is simply the set of disconnected pieces into which the manifold falls.) Let’s assume for simplicity that the vacuum manifold consists of just two disconnected components M1 and M2 and restrict ourselves to one spatial dimension. however. small oscillations around the vacuum appear as particles.. A homotopy group consists of equivalence classes of maps of spheres (with fixed base point) into the manifold. If the space of possible vacuum states is topologically nontrivial. Whether the theory admits topological defects depends on whether the vacuum manifold has nontrivial homotopy groups.Let us briefly set up the mathematical description of SSB which will be useful later when we discuss topological properties of the theory. there are many questions we can ask about the cosmological implications of the scheme and many ways in which we can constrain and utilize the possible breaking patterns. by continuity there must be a point somewhere where the order 47 . Let us define two vacuum states |0 A and |0 B to represent the same state under the broken group if g|0 A = |0 B for some g ∈ G. . In order to get an intuitive picture of the meaning of these topological criteria let us consider the first two. is the coset space M = G/H . Denote the vacuum state of the theory by |0 . . The homotopy groups defined in terms of n-spheres are denoted πn . there arises the possibility of another kind of solitonic object: a topological defect. Consider a gauge field theory described by a continuous group G. M ≡ G/H. given g(x) ∈ G. We write |0 A ∼ |0 B and the distinguishable vacua of the theory are equivalence classes under ∼ and are the cosets of H in G. 4. Then. (134) Given that we believe the universe evolved through a sequence of such symmetry breakings. where two maps are equivalent if they can be smoothly deformed into each other. a field theory with vacuum manifold M possesses a topological defect of some type if πi (M) = 1 . Then. (A zero-sphere is the set of two points a fixed distance from the origin in R1 .7 Topological Defects In a quantum field theory. Recall that the space of all accessible vacua of the theory. Then the symmetry of the theory is said to have been spontaneously broken from G to H. In particular. if we apply boundary conditions that the vacuum at −∞ lies in M1 and that at +∞ lies in M2 . Suppose all vacuum states are of the form g|0 but that the state |0 is invariant only under a subgroup H ⊂ G. 1. the manifold M is disconnected. we can have a set of defects. If π0 (M) = 1. Consider a field theory described by a continuous symmetry group G which is spontaneously broken to a subgroup H ⊂ G. the state g(x)|0 is also a vacuum. the space of all accessible vacua of the theory. Then the vacuum manifold. as listed in table 3.

parameter does not lie in the vacuum manifold as the field interpolates between the two vacua. Dµ . and the symmetry breaking (or “Mexican hat”) potential is V (ϕ) = λ ∗ (ϕ ϕ − η 2 )2 . Similarly. The order parameter for such a situation may be considered complex and if. In preparation for our discussion of the more general cosmological situation. when traveling around a closed curve in space. the phase of the order parameter changes by a non-zero multiple of 2π. Continuity in the direction perpendicular to the plane of the curve implies that there exists a line of such points. the Nielsen-Olesen vortex in the Abelian Higgs model. This implies that the vacuum manifold is not simplyconnected: there are non-contractible loops in the manifold. the covariant derivative. suppose π1 (M) = 1.Homotopy Constraint π0 (M) = 1 π1 (M) = 1 π2 (M) = 1 π3 (M) = 1 Topological Defect Domain Wall Cosmic String Monopole Texture Table 3: Topological defects. Since we shall mostly concentrate on these defects let us now give a detailed analysis of the simplest example. 4 (139) (137) (138) Here e is the gauge coupling constant and η is a parameter that represents the scale of the symmetry breaking. by continuity there is a point within the curve where the field is out of the vacuum manifold. Consider a complex scalar field theory based on the Abelian gauge group U(1). 2 4 (136) where ϕ(x) is the complex scalar field. as described by homotopy groups of the vacuum manifolds of a theory with spontaneously broken symmetry. and field strength tensor Fµν are defined in terms of the Abelian gauge field Aµ as Dµ ϕ ≡ (∂µ + ieAµ )ϕ . The Lagrangian density for this model is 1 1 L = − (Dµ ϕ)∗ D µ ϕ − Fµν F µν − V (ϕ) . (140) 48 . let us note that at high temperatures the Lagrangian contains temperature-dependent corrections given by V (ϕ) → V (ϕ) + CT 2 ϕ2 + · · · . Fµν ≡ ∂µ Aν − ∂ν Aµ . The region in which the field is out of the vacuum is known as a domain wall. This is an example of a cosmic string or line defect.

(152) . 2C (141) λ λ T2 λ ∗ − 1 ϕ∗ ϕ + η 2 (ϕ ϕ) + η 2 4 2 Tc2 4 (142) is minimized by ϕ = 0. where Tc is defined by Tc2 = we see that V (ϕ) = λ 2 η . as implied by causality (we shall discuss this shortly). As the system cools. (147) (148) (149) (150) The Abelian Higgs model therefore allows for cosmic strings. The vacuum manifold is M ≡ G/H = U(1)/1 = U(1) = {ϕ : ϕ = ηeiα . The requirement that ϕ be single valued implies that around any closed curve in space the change ∆α in α must satisfy ∆α = 2πn . so M = S1 . Calculating homotopy groups in general is difficult. We therefore have π0 (S 1 ) π1 (S 1 ) π2 (S 1 ) π3 (S 1 ) = = = = 1 Z 1 1. for T > Tc the full symmetry group G = U(1) is restored and the vacuum expectation value of the ϕ-field is zero. (We can wrap it any number of times in either sense. (151) where α may be chosen differently in different regions of space.) The first homotopy group is therefore the integers.where C is a constant. However. To see how strings form in this model. consider what happens as T decreases through Tc . The symmetry breaks and the field acquires a VEV given by ϕ = ηeiα . there is a phase transition at the critical temperature Tc and the vacuum symmetry is spontaneously broken. for T < Tc . The group U(1) is topologically a circle. For T > Tc . (146) (145) (144) The set of topologically equivalent ways to map one circle to another circle is given by the integers. but for S 1 all of the other groups are trivial. 49 n∈Z . 0 ≤ α ≤ 2π} . (143) Tc Thus. in this case entirely: G = U(1) −→ 1 = H . minimizing the above expression with respect to ϕ yields a minimum at T2 ϕ 2 = η2 1 − 2 .

Y = 1 + O(r 2 ) . Strings are characterized by their tension. Aµ = e The Lagrangian then yields the simplified equations of motion −X − X Y 2 X λη 2 + 2 + X(X 2 − 1) = 0 . The first discussion of string solutions to the Abelian Higgs model is due to Nielsen and Olesen. Y ∼ O( ηre−2 eηr ) . At this singular point the phase. For the Nielsen-Olesen solution just discussed. (155) Aµ dxµ = − 2π . We shall restrict our attention to the case where n = 1. as r → 0 . since otherwise we can contract our loop without encountering a singularity. ϕ must be zero all along an infinite or closed curve. for if not then we can continuously contract the loop to a point. 1 Y (r)∂µ θ . 50 (157) . then we can see that any 2-surface bounded by the loop must contain a singular point. Note that these properties depend crucially on the fact that we started with a gauged symmetry. but they would be much less localized. It is not possible to solve these equations analytically. Further. A spontaneously broken global symmetry with nontrivial πi (M) would still produce cosmic strings. α. let us make the ansatz ϕ = ηX(r)eiθ . (r. In cylindrical polar coordinates. √ 1/2 . θ). e (156) The core region over which the Higgs fields are appreciably non-zero has width ∼ (λ1/2 η)−1 . We identify this infinite or closed curve of false vacuum points as the core of our string. is undefined and ϕ = 0. but asymptotically we have  This solution corresponds to a string centered on the z-axis.If for a given loop we have n = 0. since there would be no gauge fields to cancel the scalar gradients at large distances. r r 2 2e2 η 2 X 2 Y Y + = 0. Assume the string is straight and that the core is aligned with the z-axis. with a central magnetic core of width ∼ (eη)−1 carrying a total magnetic flux Φ= r=∞ e−λ X ∼ 1−O √ X∼r 1/2 ηr ηr   . since this is the most likely configuration. −Y + r λ (153) (154) where a prime denotes differentiation with respect to r. as r → ∞ . implying that n = 0 which is a contradiction. which is the energy per unit length. the tension is approximately µ ∼ η2 .

These strings must be horizon-sized or closed loops.Thus. TG . there is no mechanism within the theory to produce these objects. Again. From the above discussion we can see that cosmology provides us with a unique opportunity to explore the rich and complex structure of particle physics theories. The topological structures contribute a set of zero measure in the phase space of possible solutions to the theory and hence the probability of production in particle processes is exponentially suppressed. The Kibble mechanism provides us with an order of magnitude upper bound for the size of such a region as the causal horizon size at the time of the phase transition. the Ginsburg temperature. so that a Planck-scale string would have Gµ ∼ 1. If we consider the temperature at which there is insufficient thermal energy to excite a correlation volume back into the unbroken state. The guiding principle here is causality. then. the mechanism for the production of defects is known as the Kibble mechanism. Interesting bounds on the tension of cosmic strings produced by the Kibble mechanism arise from two sources: perturbations of the CMB. the tension of a global string actually diverges. As we remarked above. This behavior is similarly characteristic of other kinds of topological defects. As the phase transition takes place. the energy of the string is set by the expectation value of the order parameter responsible for the symmetry breaking. Although the topological solutions discussed above exist in the theory at zero temperature. If the phase changes by 2πn for some n = 0 when traversing a loop in space. at temperatures around the critical temperature we expect that thermal fluctuations in φ will be large so that as the universe cools it will split into domains with different values of α in different domains. due to the slow fall-off of the energy density as we move away from the string core. a much improved estimate for the initial separation of the defects can be derived and is given by ξ(tG ) ∼ λ−1 η −1 . It is often convenient to parameterize the tension by the dimensionless quantity Gµ. and gravitational waves. This separation is microscopic. Both arise 51 . However. the expectation value of the order parameter takes on a definite value (∼ ηeiα in the Abelian Higgs model) in each region of space. The boundaries between the domains will be regions where the phase of φ changes smoothly. the maximum causal distance imposed on the theory by cosmology is simply the Hubble distance – the distance which light can have traveled since the big bang. then any surface bounded by that loop intersects a cosmic string. This is the crucial role played by the cosmological evolution. global defects are quite different. where λ is the self coupling of the order parameter. At this point it is appropriate to discuss how many of these defects we expect to be produced at a cosmological phase transition. given the assumption of thermal equilibrium above the phase transition. In the cosmological context. Tc . What the cosmological evolution of the vacuum supplies is a concrete causal mechanism for producing these long lived exotic solutions. as the temperature of the universe falls well below the critical temperature of the phase transition. Numerical simulations of cosmic string formation indicate that the initial distribution of strings consists of 80% horizon-sized and 20% loops by mass.

Currently. gravitational wave observatories will become dramatically better in the near future. however. which is certainly an interesting value. 121] Gµ ≤ 10−6 . 119.” which deserves further comment. In a theory where π3 (M) is nontrivial but the other groups vanish. formerly popular as a possible origin of 52 . At the phase transition this breaks to pure electromagnetism. U(1)em . let us apply these conditions to the best understood physical example. the electroweak model does not lead to walls. the vacuum manifold is the space of cosets MEW = [SU(2) × U(1)]/U(1) . the electroweak phase transition. However. for example. It does lead to what we called “texture. through operations of ground-based observatories such as LIGO as well as satellites such as LISA.because the motions of heavy strings moving at relativistic velocities lead to time-dependent gravitational fields. there will not be a defect where the field climbs out of M. As we remarked earlier. The homotopy groups of the three-sphere are π0 (S 3 ) π1 (S 3 ) π2 (S 3 ) π3 (S 3 ) = = = = 1 1 1 Z . (160) (161) (162) (163) (Don’t be fooled into thinking that all homotopy groups of spheres vanish except in the dimensionality of the sphere itself. they will fall into homotopy classes characterized by elements of π3 (M). The energy perturbations caused by global textures were. If the symmetry is global. strings. Nevertheless. S 3 . such configurations will necessarily contain gradient energies from the scalar fields. simply because it is difficult to accurately model the nonlinear evolution of a string network. (159) This looks complicated but in fact this space is topologically equivalent to the three-sphere. These experiments should be able to improve the bounds on Gµ by several orders of magnitude [123]. 1016 GeV. the GWS theory is based on the gauge group SU(2)L × U(1)Y . Unlike the CMB measurements. Bounds from gravitational waves come from two different techniques: direct observation. π3 (S 2 ) = Z. Thus. (158) This corresponds roughly to strings at the GUT scale. configurations with nonzero winding will be textures. along with cosmic strings. and the results can be sensitive to what assumptions are made. we can always map three-dimensional space smoothly into the vacuum manifold. The actual values of the bounds are controversial. 120. the CMB bounds amount roughly to [118. and indirect measurement through accurate pulsar timings. or monopoles. pulsar timing measurements are more constraining. if we consider field configurations which approach a unique value at spatial infinity. and give a bound similar to that from the CMB [122]. Now that we have established the criteria necessary for the production of topological defects in spontaneously broken theories.) Thus.

then annihilations would take place at the interfaces between them. strict quantitative estimates of the relative abundances of baryonic matter and antimatter may also be obtained from the standard cosmology. The baryon number density does not remain constant during the evolution of the universe. 125]. this proportion is consistent with secondary antiproton production through accelerator-like processes. what processes. where a is the cosmological scale factor [130]. equivalently. 4. neither of which is observed. It is therefore convenient to define the baryon asymmetry of the universe in terms of the quantity nB η≡ . (165) Thus the natural question arises. These transitions will play a role in electroweak baryon number violation. then the energy released by these annihilations would result in a diffuse γ-ray background and a distortion of the cosmic microwave radiation.) More generally. the predictions of these theories are inconsistent with the sharp acoustic peaks observed in the CMB. then we would expect there to be a detectable background of γ-radiation from nucleon-antinucleon annihilations within the clusters. discussed in the next section. 127]. Recall that the range of η consistent with the deuterium and 3 He primordial abundances is 2. so such models are no longer considered viable. p + p → 3p + p. instead scaling like a−3 . Outside of particle accelerators. transitions from one texture configuration to one with a different winding number are gauge invariant. Also.6 × 10−10 < η < 6. naturally leads to the question of why the observed universe is composed almost entirely of matter with little or no primordial antimatter.2 × 10−10 . present at a level of around 10−4 in comparison with the number of protons (for example see [128]).structure formation in the universe [124. however. as the universe cooled from early times to today. Thus there is no evidence for primordial antimatter in our galaxy. However. firmly established in collider physics. While the above considerations put an experimental upper bound on the amount of antimatter in the universe. (164) s defined earlier. However. In the standard model. were responsible for the generation of 53 . as the cosmic rays stream ¯ towards us. the broken symmetry is gauged. “texture” configurations can always be brought to the vacuum by a gauge transformation. If the typical size of such a domain was small enough. since the gauge field can always be chosen to cancel them. both particle physics and cosmological. antimatter can be seen in cosmic rays in the form of a few antiprotons. if matter and antimatter galaxies were to coexist in clusters of galaxies. In this case there is no need for gradient energies. if large domains of matter and antimatter exist.8 Baryogenesis The symmetry between particles and antiparticles [126. This background is not observed and so we conclude that there is negligible antimatter on the scale of clusters (For a review of the evidence for a baryon asymmetry see [129].

(166) where we have used that the Hamiltonian H commutes with CP T . which is odd under both C and CP . 135. one can calculate the equilibrium average of B at a temperature T = 1/β: B T = Tr (e−βH B) = Tr [(CP T )(CP T )−1e−βH B)] = Tr (e−βH (CP T )−1B(CP T )] = −Tr (e−βH B) . • violation of C (charge conjugation symmetry) and CP (the composition of parity and C).9 4. 133. 136]. Grand Unified Theories (GUTs) [137] describe the fundamental interactions by means of a unique gauge group G which contains the Standard Model (SM) gauge group SU(3)C ⊗ SU(2)L ⊗ U(1)Y . That is to say that the thermal average of the baryon number operator B. 134. 9. as we shall see (for baryogenesis reviews see [132. The first condition should be clear since. starting from a baryon symmetric universe with η = 0.1 Baryon Number Violation B-violation in Grand Unified Theories As discussed earlier. a small baryon asymmetry η may have been produced in the early universe if three necessary conditions are satisfied • baryon number (B) violation. is zero unless those discrete symmetries are violated.) Let us discuss the Sakharov criteria in more detail. baryon number violation and C and CP violation may be investigated only within a given particle physics model. CP violation is present either if there are complex phases in the Lagrangian which cannot be reabsorbed by field redefinitions (explicit breaking) or if some Higgs scalar field acquires a VEV which is not real (spontaneous breaking). The fundamental idea of GUTs is that at energies higher 54 . We will discuss this in detail shortly.9. if C and CP are exact symmetries. while the third condition – the departure from thermal equilibrium – may be discussed in a more general way.this very specific baryon asymmetry? (For reviews of mechanisms to generate the baryon asymmetry. see As pointed out by Sakharov [131]. one can prove that the total rate for any process which produces an excess of baryons is equal to the rate of the complementary process which produces an excess of antibaryons and so no net baryon number can be created. 10. The second Sakharov criterion is required because. Of the three Sakharov conditions. Finally. to explain the third criterion. Thus B T = 0 in equilibrium and there is no generation of net baryon number. 4. • departure from thermal equilibrium. baryon number violation must take place in order to evolve into a universe in which η does not vanish.

147]. therefore. The change in baryon number may be written as ∆B = ∆NCS ≡ nf [NCS (tf ) − NCS (0)] . To understand how the anomaly is closely related to the vacuum structure of the theory. µ µ so that their respective Noether currents jB and jL are no longer conserved.than a certain energy threshold MGUT the group symmetry is G and that. and therefore it is possible for scalar and gauge bosons to mediate gauge interactions among fermions having different baryon number. are accidental symmetries and as a result it is not possible to violate B and L at tree-level or at any order of perturbation theory. It is well-known that the most general renormalizable Lagrangian invariant under the SM gauge group and containing only color singlet Higgs fields is automatically invariant under global abelian symmetries which may be identified with the baryonic and leptonic symmetries. Nevertheless. 4. but satisfy µ µ ∂µ jB = ∂µ jL = nf g2 g2 a ˜ ˜ Wµν W aµν − F F µν 2 2 µν 32π 32π . the symmetry is broken down to the SM gauge symmetry. the average values of the field strengths are zero at the beginning and the end of the evolution. at least in supersymmetric models. indeed. For transitions between vacua. (169) . These. The probability of these processes occurring today is exponentially suppressed and probably irrelevant. with ˜ an analogous expression holding for F . a general property of these theories is that the same representation of G may contain both quarks and leptons. The main motivation for this scenario is that. respectively. Let us have a closer look. 139. 144.2 B-violation in the Electroweak theory. at lower energies. However.9. we may compute the change in baryon number from time t = 0 to some arbitrary final time t = tf . 140] at the scale MGUT 2 × 1016 GeV. 145] – baryon and lepton number violating processes may be fast enough to play a significant role in baryogenesis. possibly through a chain of symmetry breakings. the (running) gauge couplings of the SM unify [138. in many cases the perturbative expansion does not describe all the dynamics of the theory and. Baryon number violation seems very natural in GUTs. hinting at the presence of a GUT involving a higher symmetry with a single gauge coupling. (167) where g and g are the gauge couplings of SU(2)L and U(1)Y . where the Chern-Simons number is defined to be NCS (t) ≡ g2 32π 2 d3 x ijk (168) Tr 55 2 Ai ∂j Ak + igAiAj Ak 3 . but not the orthogonal combination B − L. the baryon and the lepton symmetries are anomalous [146. in more extreme situations – like the primordial universe at very high temperatures [142. nf is the number ˜ of families and W µν = (1/2) µναβ Wαβ is the dual of the SU(2)L field strength tensor. in 1976 ’t Hooft [141] realized that nonperturbative effects (instantons) may give rise to processes which violate the combination B + L. Indeed. 143. At the quantum level.

it is to be expected that. The lowest energy point on this ridge is a saddle point solution to the equations of motion with a single negative eigenvalue. The rate of sphaleron processes can be related to the diffusion constant for Chern-Simons number by a fluctuation-dissipation theorem [148] (for a good description of this see [134]). (170) where µ is a dimensionless constant. 144]. Gauge transformations U(x) which connects two degenerate vacua of the gauge theory may change the Chern-Simons number by an integer n. This appears to be much too small to account for the observed BAU and. Although the Boltzmann suppression in (170) appears large. The probability of baryon number nonconserving processes at zero temperature has been computed by ’t Hooft [141] and is highly suppressed. attempts to utilize this source of CP violation for electroweak 56 . The relevant effects are parameterized by a dimensionless constant which is no larger than 10−20 . (n) If the system is able to perform a transition from the vacuum Gvac to the closest one (n±1) Gvac . and H3 bosons in the case of SU(5). changes in Chern-Simons number result in changes in baryon number which are integral multiples of the number of families nf (with nf = 3 in the real world). Each transition creates 9 left-handed quarks (3 color states for each generation) and 3 left-handed leptons (one per generation). Thus. (171) with κ another dimensionless constant. the change ∆NCS is. Although the Chern-Simons number is not gauge invariant. adjacent vacua of the electroweak theory are separated by a ridge of configurations with energies larger than that of the vacuum. there will no longer be an exponential suppression factor. and is referred to as the sphaleron [143. Since it is necessary that the particles in the loop also undergo B-violating decays. thus far. Moreover. The thermal rate of baryon number violation in the broken phase is MW Γsp (T ) = µ αW T 3 4 MW exp − Esph (T ) T . This is seen experimentally ¯ in the neutral kaon system through K0 . Thus. CP violation is a natural feature of the standard electroweak model. C is maximally broken in the SM. the Chern-Simons number is changed by unity and ∆B = ∆L = nf . However. Since only the left-handed fermions are SU(2)L gauge coupled. when the electroweak symmetry becomes restored at a temperature of around 100 GeV. While this is encouraging for baryogenesis. 4. it turns out that this particular source of CP violation is not strong enough. CP is known not to be an exact symmetry of the weak interactions. In the electroweak theory things are somewhat different. K0 mixing. the winding number. Y .3 CP violation CP violation in GUTs arises in loop-diagram corrections to baryon number violating bosonic decays. A simple estimate is that the rate per unit volume of sphaleron events is Γsp (T ) = κ(αW T )4 .9. the relevant particles are the X.where Ai is the SU(2)L gauge field.

If the EWPT is second order or a continuous crossover. we either need the EWPT to be strongly first order or other methods of destroying thermal equilibrium to be present at the phase transition. they populate the universe with an abundance which is much larger than the equilibrium one. at some temperature T > MX . Initially these bubbles are not large enough for their volume energy to overcome the competing surface tension and 57 . In light of this. These generically fall under the name of out-of-equilibrium decay mechanisms. At temperatures around the electroweak scale. 4. if these heavy particles decay through renormalizable operators. at temperature T MX . respectively [149]. the associated departure from equilibrium is insufficient to lead to relevant baryon number production [145]. the superheavy particles X are so weakly interacting that they cannot catch up with the expansion of the universe and they decouple from the thermal bath while they are still relativistic. One concrete example of a well-motivated extension in the minimal supersymmetric standard model (MSSM). > The out-of-equilibrium condition requires very heavy states: MX ∼ (1015 − 1016 ) GeV 10 16 > and MX ∼ (10 − 10 ) GeV. baryogenesis cannot occur at such low scales without the aid of phase transitions and the question of the order of the electroweak phase transition becomes central. This overabundance is precisely the departure from thermal equilibrium needed to produce a final nonvanishing baryon asymmetry when the heavy states X undergo B and CP violating decays.4 Departure from Thermal Equilibrium In some scenarios. The dynamics of the phase transition in this situation is crucial to most scenarios of electroweak baryogenesis.baryogenesis have been unsuccessful. At the critical temperature T = Tc both phases are equally favored energetically and at later times the minimum at ϕ = 0 becomes the global minimum of the theory. The underlying idea is fairly simple. at the temperature T ∼ MX ) is much smaller than the expansion rate of the universe. Therefore. Thus.e. The essential picture is that around Tc quantum tunneling occurs and nucleation of bubbles of the true vacuum in the sea of false begins. so that nX ∼ nγ ∼ T 3 at the time of decoupling. For a first order transition there is an extremum at ϕ = 0 which becomes separated from a second local minimum by an energy barrier. then the X particles cannot decay on the time scale < of the expansion and so they remain as abundant as photons for T ∼ MX . This means that the equilibrium description of particle phenomena is extremely accurate at electroweak temperatures. the expansion rate of the universe in thermal units is small compared to the rate of baryon number violating processes. If the decay rate ΓX of the superheavy particles X at the time they become nonrelativistic (i. it is usual to extend the SM in some fashion that increases the amount of CP violation in the theory while not leading to results that conflict with current experimental data. such as GUT baryogenesis.9. for gauge and scalar bosons. This means that for EWBG to succeed. In other words. A different implementation can be found in the electroweak theory. the third Sakharov condition is satisfied due to the presence of superheavy decaying particles in a rapidly expanding universe.

adding right-handed Majorana neutrinos to the SM breaks B −L and the primordial lepton asymmetry may be generated by the c out-of-equilibrium decay of heavy right-handed Majorana neutrinos NL (in the supersymmetric version. the baryon asymmetry may be generated from a lepton asymmetry [155. These are termed critical bubbles. bubbles just large enough to grow nucleate. A further natural way to depart from equilibrium is provided by the dynamics of topological defects [150. heavy scalar neutrino decays are also relevant for leptogenesis). B −L is conserved and no asymmetry in B − L can be generated. 159]. This simple extension of the SM can be embedded into GUTs with gauge groups containing SO(10). at a particular temperature below Tc . Although B-violation can be inefficient along nonsuperconducting strings [154].) Indeed. we mention briefly a mechanism introduced by Affleck and Dine [160] involving the cosmological evolution of scalar fields carrying baryonic charge. When defects are produced at the TeV scale. and they expand.6 Affleck-Dine Baryogenesis Finally in this section. 153]. if the phase transition is strongly enough first order it is possible to satisfy the third Sakharov criterion in this way. cosmic strings are produced at the GUT phase transition. and this leads to a significant departure from thermal equilibrium. If. χ. a detailed analysis of the dynamics of a network of these objects shows that a significant baryon to entropy ratio can be generated if the electroweak symmetry is restored around such a higher scale ordinary defect.5 Baryogenesis via leptogenesis Since the linear combination B − L is left unchanged by sphaleron transitions. This is because B + L must be vanishing and the final baryon asymmetry results to be B −L. there remain viable scenarios involving other ordinary defects. Consider the case where some com58 . Consider a colorless. 152. superconducting strings or defects carrying baryon number. As the bubble walls pass each point in space.they shrink and disappear. as do the other fields. the order parameter changes rapidly. 156. In a supersymmetric theory this object has a scalar superpartner. electrically neutral combination of quark and lepton fields.9.9. Thus. eventually filling all of space and completing the transition. However. sphaleron transition will reprocess any lepton asymmetry and convert (a fraction of) it into baryon number. In the SM as well as in its unified extension based on the group SU(5). 157] (see also [158. for example. on which the scalar potential vanishes. ˜ l An important feature of supersymmetric field theories is the existence of “flat directions” in field space. Heavy right-handed Majorana neutrinos can also explain the smallness of the light neutrino masses via the see-saw mechanism [157]. 4. then the decays of loops of string act as an additional source of superheavy bosons which undergo baryon number violating decays. 4. composed of the corresponding squark q and slepton ˜ fields. 151. However.

However. At this time. 162] in which. 59 . Many of these come under the heading of initial condition problems and require a more complete description of the sources of energy density in the universe. At the level of renormalizable terms. This framework is a towering achievement. (173) da a This equation is easily solved.ponent of the field χ lies along a flat direction. describing to great accuracy the physical processes leading to the present day universe. 164. (172) H 2 a2 where for brevity we are now writing Ω instead of Ωtotal . but its most general properties are all that we shall need and they are qualitatively different depending on the sign of 1 + 3w. this implies Ω(Ω − 1) dΩ = (1 + 3w) .1 The Flatness Problem Ω−1= The Friedmann equation may be written as k . thereby imparting a substantial baryon number to the condensate. We will begin by describing some of the problems of the standard cosmology. After this time. 165]. The most severe of these problems eventually led to a radical new picture of the physics of the early universe cosmological inflation [163. flat directions occur because of accidental degeneracies in field space. There are three fixed points of this differential equation. the condensate starts oscillating around its present minimum. establishing the initial conditions for the subsequent evolution of the field. there remain outstanding issues in cosmology. 5 Inflation In our previous lectures we have described what is known as the standard cosmology. By this we mean that there exist directions in the superpotential along which the relevant components of χ can be considered as a free massless field. because there are large numbers of fields. 5. When the Hubble rate becomes of the order of the curvature of the potential ∼ m3/2 . The most recent implementations of the Affleck-Dine scenario have been in the context of the minimal supersymmetric standard model [161. flat directions are generic. An important role is played at this stage by baryon number violating operators in the potential V (χ). which is the subject of this lecture. the baryon number violating operators are negligible so that. During inflation it is likely that the χ field is displaced from the position χ = 0. B-violating terms in the potential are of comparable importance to the mass term. which determine the initial phase of the field. Differentiating this with respect to the scale factor. but supersymmetry breaking and nonrenormalizable operators lift the flat directions and sets the scale for their potential. the net baryon number of the universe is preserved by the subsequent cosmological evolution. when the baryonic charge of χ is transferred to fermions through decays. as given in table 4.

Fixed Point Ω=0 Ω=1 Ω=∞ 1 + 3w > 0 attractor repeller attractor 1 + 3w < 0 repeller attractor repeller Table 4: Behavior of the density parameter near fixed points. Observationally we know that Ω 1 today – i. we are very close to the repeller of this differential equation for a universe dominated by ordinary matter and radiation (w > −1/3).e. we would clearly live in a universe that was far from the attractor points of the equation. Horizons exist because there is only a finite amount of 60 . then in order to have Ω in the range observed today requires (conservatively) 0 ≤ 1 − Ω ≤ 10−60 . today t CMB Figure 5. If the only matter in the universe is radiation and dust. Points at recombination. It is already quite puzzling that the universe has not reached one of its attractor points. However. Within the context of the standard cosmology there is no known explanation of this fine-tuning. as discussed in the first lecture. observed today as parts of the cosmic microwave background on opposite sides of the sky. 5.10: Past light cones in a universe expanding from a Big Bang singularity. no causal signal could have influenced them to have the same temperature.2 The Horizon Problem The horizon problem stems from the existence of particle horizons in FRW cosmologies. we may be more quantitative about this. given that the universe has evolved for such a long time. (174) This remarkable degree of fine tuning is the flatness problem.. illustrating particle horizons in cosmology. have non-overlapping past light cones (in conventional cosmology). Even if we only took account of the luminous matter in the universe.

a(t) (177) To get the physical distance as it would be measured by an observer at any time t. For simplicity let’s imagine we are in a matter-dominated universe. (176) so the comoving (coordinate) distance traveled by such a photon between times t1 and t2 is ∆r = t2 t1 dt . A radial null path obeys 0 = ds2 = −dt2 + a2 dr 2 . This approximate equality leads to a strong temptation to use the terms “horizon distance” and “Hubble distance” interchangeably. as measured on the spatial hypersurface at a∗ . (182) Indeed. as we will soon demonstrate. (180) The comoving horizon size when a = a∗ is the distance a photon travels since the Big Bang. (181) The physical horizon size. since inflation can render the former much larger than the latter. simply multiply by a(t). we can normalize the scale factor to a0 = 1 (175) without loss of generality. this temptation should be resisted. for which t 2/3 a= . is therefore simply −1 dhor (a∗ ) = a∗ rhor (a∗ ) = 2H∗ . for any nearly-flat universe containing a mixture of matter and radiation. −1 √ rhor (a∗ ) = 2H0 a∗ . Consider a photon moving along a radial trajectory in a flat universe (the generalization to non-flat universes is straightforward). and thus only a finite distance that photons can travel within the age of the universe. (179) Then the photon travels a comoving distance √ −1 √ ∆r = 2H0 ( a2 − a1 ) .time since the Big Bang singularity. (183) −1 where H∗ is the Hubble distance at that particular epoch. (178) t0 The Hubble parameter is therefore given by H = 2 −1 t 3 = a−3/2 H0 . 61 . In a flat universe. at any one epoch we will have −1 dhor (a∗ ) ∼ H∗ .

since π2 (G/H) = π1 ([SU(3) × SU(2) × U(1)]/Z6 ) = Z . the expected relic abundance of monopoles works out to be 3 TGUT mmono 11 Ω0. it is necessary to find some way to dilute their density in the early universe. When we look at the CMB we were observing the universe at a scale factor aCMB ≈ 1/1200. The question then is. only affects the global structure of the group and not the Lie algebra. the comoving distance between a point on the CMB and an observer on Earth is −1 ∆r = 2H0 (1 − −1 ≈ 2H0 . strictly speaking. they will have non-overlapping horizons.3 Unwanted Relics We have spoken in the last lecture about grand unified theories (GUTs). how did they know ahead of time to coordinate their evolution in the right way. If grand unification occurs with a simple gauge group G. meanwhile. (186) (The gauge group of the standard model is. the comoving horizon distance for such a point is −1 √ rhor (aCMB ) = 2H0 aCMB −1 ≈ 6 × 10−2 H0 .The horizon problem is simply the fact that the CMB is isotropic to a high degree of precision. even though widely separated points on the last scattering surface are completely outside each others’ horizons.mono ∼ 10 .) Using the Kibble mechanism. (187) 14 GeV 10 1016 GeV This is far too big. (185) Hence. the monopole abundance in GUTs is a serious problem for cosmology if GUTs have anything to do with reality. Nevertheless. breaking down to the standard model will lead to magnetic monopoles. even though they were never in causal contact? We must somehow modify the causal structure of the conventional FRW cosmology. In addition to monopoles. distinct patches of the CMB sky were causally disconnected at recombination. The Z6 factor. they are observed to be at the same temperature to high precision. any spontaneous breaking of G satisfies π2 (G/H) = π1 (H) for any simple subgroup H. and thus is usually ignored by particle physicists. 5. if we observe two widely-separated parts of the CMB. there may be other model-dependent relics predicted by your favorite theory. If these are incompatible with current limits. [SU(3) × SU(2) × U(1)]/Z6 . and also about topological defects. 62 . √ aCMB ) (184) However. with which you may not be familiar. In particular.

in which all quantities depend only on cosmological time t and set k = 0. The fundamental idea is that the universe undergoes a period of accelerated expansion. making the universe extremely close to flat. but because of time constraints we will concentrate almost exclusively on the chaotic inflation model of Linde. defined as a period when a > 0. with potential V (φ).4 The General Idea of Inflation The horizon problem especially is an extremely serious problem for the standard cosmology because at its heart is simply causality. In addition. then it must be active at extremely early times. so there is a spectrum of remnant density perturbations. we would like to address the earliest times in the universe amenable to a classical description. the horizon size is greatly increased. (188) For simplicity we will specialize to the homogeneous case. A homogeneous real scalar field behaves as a perfect fluid with ρφ = pφ 1 ˙2 φ + V (φ) 2 1 ˙2 φ − V (φ) . The energy-momentum tensor for φ is Tµν = ( µ φ)( ν φ) − gµν 1 αβ g ( 2 α φ)( β φ) + V (φ) . 5. quantum fluctuations make it impossible for inflation to smooth out the universe with perfect precision. There are many models of inflation. Consider modeling matter in the early universe by a real scalar field φ. diminishing spatial curvature in the process. The effect of this acceleration is to quickly expand ¨ a small region of space to a huge size. Before getting into the details of inflation we will just sketch the general idea here. We have borrowed heavily in places here from the excellent text of Liddle and Lyth [7]. Any solution to this problem is therefore almost certain to require an important modification to how information can propagate in the early universe.5.5 Slowly-Rolling Scalar Fields If inflation is to solve the problems of the standard cosmology. this spectrum turns out to be approximately scale-free. φ+3 φ+ a dφ 63 (191) . As an unexpected bonus. = 2 (189) (190) The equation of motion for the scalar field is given by a ˙ dV ˙ ¨ =0. solving the monopole problem. so that distant points on the CMB actually are in causal contact and unwanted relics are tremendously diluted. at early times. We expect this to be at or around the Planck time tP and since Planckian quantities arise often in inflation we will retain values of the Planck mass in the equations of this section. Cosmological inflation is such a mechanism. in good agreement with observations of our current universe. Thus.

We can write ¨ a ¨ ˙ = H + H2 . Recall that inflation is defined by a/a > 0. 3 2 (192) A very specific way in which accelerated expansion can occur is if the universe is dominated by an energy component that approximates a cosmological constant. The scalar field equation of motion and the Friedmann equation then become ˙ φ H2 − V (φ) . In that case the associated expansion rate will be exponential. approximately that of a cosmological constant. an approximation which we will now make more formal. (198) a so that inflation occurs if ˙ H > −1 . this negligible kinetic energy is equivalent to the fields slowly rolling down its potential. (197) V It is easy to see that the slow roll conditions yield inflation. Scalar fields can ˙ accomplish this in an interesting way. (194) 3 where in this lecture a prime denotes a derivative with respect to φ. and the resulting equation of state is p −ρ. as we have already seen. ¨ Technically. the slow-roll approximation for inflation involves neglecting the φ term in (191) and neglecting the kinetic energy of φ compared to the potential energy.which can be thought of as the usual equation of motion for a scalar field in Minkowski space. the resulting expansion is certainly accelerating. (196) and V . (195) V V 2 . (199) H2 2 η ≡ Mp 64 . 3H (193) 8πG V (φ) . In a loose sense. but with a friction term due to the expansion of the universe. These are || |η| where the slow-roll parameters are given by 2 Mp ≡ 2 1 1. From (189) it is clear that if φ2 V (φ) then the potential energy of the scalar field is the dominant contribution to both the energy density and the pressure. The Friedmann equation with such a field as the sole energy source is H2 = 8πG 1 ˙ 2 φ + V (φ) . These conditions will hold if the two slow-roll conditions are satisfied.

The slow-roll conditions give that. 5. φ = φ0 ∼ m ε (204) where we have defined ε ≡ m/Mp 1. 2 For simplicity. with typically Planckian energies. This is typically quantified by the number of e-folds. We also have H = αφ . We also would like to express N in terms of the potential. (201) But in slow-roll Usually we are interested in how many efolds occur between a given field value φ and the field value at the end of inflation φend . let us consider a particularly simple potential (203) where m has dimensions of mass. defined by N(t) ≡ ln a(tend ) a(t) . It is useful to have a general expression to describe how much inflation occurs. We shall also assume initial conditions that at the end of 4 the quantum epoch. (200) H2 which will be small. V (202) The issue of initial conditions for inflation is one that is quite subtle and we will not get into a discussion of that here.˙ H − . Smallness of the other parameter η helps to ensure that inflation will continue for a sufficient period. Instead we will remain focused on chaotic inflation. once it has begun.6 Attractor Solutions in Inflation 1 V (φ) = m2 φ2 . in which we assume that the early universe emerges from the Planck epoch with the scalar field taking different values in different parts of the universe. 3 65 (206) . at t = 0. There will then be some probability for inflation to begin in some places. 2 Mp Mp ∼ . and we shall focus on those. (205) where α≡ 4π ε. which we label as t = 0. defined by (φend ) = 1. Fortunately this is simple to do via N(t) ≡ ln a(tend ) a(t) = tend t H dt 1 2 Mp φend φ V dφ . ρ ∼ Mp .

A proper distance LP at t = 0 will inflate to a size 10 cm after a time ∆t ∼ 5 × 10−36 seconds. the slow-roll conditions remain satisfied provided that φ and therefore. substituting in to the equation of motion and linearizing in χ. ε Now.7 Solving the Problems of the Standard Cosmology Let’s stick with the simple model of the last section. (208) is valid for a time ∆t ∼ tP φ0 ∼ 2 . It is rather easy to see that the Einstein equations are solved by 2π 2 a(t) = a(0) exp (φ − φ2 ) . Now. The period of time during which (208) is valid ends at t ∼ ∆t. Consider perturbing (208) by writing φ(t) → φ(t) + χ(t) . One obtains χ + 3αφχ = 0 .so that the scalar field equation of motion becomes ¨ ˙ φ + 3αφφ + m2 φ = 0 . The second solution is a decaying mode with time constant tc = (3αφ)−1 . at which 2π (214) a(∆t) ∼ a(0) exp 2 . (211) where χ(t) is a “small” perturbation. (213) 2 Mp 0 as we might expect in inflation. It is important at this point to know that 66 . m 12π (209) φ = φ0 − βt . The first is just a constant. This is solved by where β ≡ m2 /3α. ¨ ˙ (212) This equation exhibits two solutions. for which ε < 10−4 . which just serves to move along the trajectory. 5. Since tc ∆t. we obtain a(∆t) ∼ a(0) × 102. β ε (210) Mp β =√ .it is an attractor. taking a typical value for m. (208) (207) Why is this important? This is important because (208) is an attractor solution! Let’s see how this arises.7×10 . 108 8 (215) This has a remarkable consequence. all solutions rapidly decay to (208) .

homogeneity over a patch less than or of order the Planck length at the onset of inflation is all that is required to solve the horizon problem.in a nutshell. A second way to see this is that. after inflation.8 Vacuum Fluctuations and Perturbations Recall that the structures . 5. Now.clusters and superclusters of galaxies . The first is to note that. assuming inflation begins. monopoles will have an extremely low density. so long as the GUT phase transition happens before inflation. the curvature term in the Friedmann equation very quickly becomes irrelevant. Since inflation dilutes away all matter fields. However. Ω is forced to be very close to one by inflation. only a small fraction of the original Planck length comprises today’s entire visible universe. The origin of these initial fluctuations is an important question of modern cosmology. Let’s sketch how this works. soon after its onset the universe is in a pure vacuum state. Thus. Inflation provides us with a fascinating solution to this problem . Inflation also solves the flatness problem. Of course. However. the density parameter will not have had time since to stray appreciably away from unity. the inflaton experiences fluctuations that are the same for each wavelength δφk = TGH . when the universe is dominated by energy with w < −1/3. if we wait sufficiently long we will start to see those inhomogeneities (originally sub-Planckian) that were inflated away.−1 the size of the observable universe today is H0 ∼ andhasnothadenough1028 cm! Therefore. dφ 67 (217) . when the universe is full of radiation (and later dust) the curvature term redshifts more slowly than both these components and will eventually become more important than both of them. There are a couple of ways to see this. these fluctuations can be related to those in the density by δρ = dV δφ . Because of this temperature. if inflation lasts long enough (typically about sixty e-folds or so) then this would not be apparent today. (216) 2π Mp where we have used the Friedmann equation. if the inflationary period lasts sufficiently long. following a similar analysis to that leading to (173) leads to the conclusion that Ω = 1 is an attractor rather than a repeller. Of course. if inflation lasts sufficiently long then even today the total energy density will be so close to unity that we will notice no curvature. any unwanted relics are diluted by the tremendous expansion. If we simplify to the case of exponential inflation.we see on the largest scales in the universe today. Similarly. and hence the observed fluctuations in the CMB. form from the gravitational instability of initial perturbations in the matter density. this vacuum state is described by the Gibbons-Hawking temperature √ V H TGH = . Therefore. since it scales as a(t)−2 . quantum fluctuations in the inflaton field during the inflationary epoch are stretched by inflation and ultimately become classical fluctuations.

We therefore write A2 (k) ∝ k nS −1 S and A2 (k) ∝ k nT . For purposes of understanding observations. and should drop out of any physical answer. It is not only the nearly-massless inflaton that is excited during inflation. The fluctuations are also Gaussian. T (221) where nS and nT are the “spectral indices”. the B-mode polarization induced by gravitational waves is expected to be at a much lower level. and the density fluctuations produced by inflation are adiabatic — fluctuations in the density of all species are correlated. it is useful to parameterize the perturbation spectra in terms of observable quantities. The amplitude of the perturbations is nearly equal at each wavenumber. The other important example is the graviton. Although CMB polarization has already been detected [166].Inflation therefore produces density perturbations on every scale. in the sense that the phases of the Fourier modes describing fluctuations at different scales are uncorrelated. this is only the E-mode polarization induced by density perturbations. and have been confirmed to new precision by WMAP and other CMB measurements. These aspects of inflationary perturbations — a nearly scale-free spectrum of adiabatic density fluctuations with a Gaussian distribution — are all consistent with current observations of the CMB and large-scale structure. and represents a significant observational challenge for the years to come. which corresponds to tensor perturbations in the metric (propagating excitations of the gravitational field). but any nearlymassless particle. related to the potential via A2 (k) ∼ S V3 6 Mp (V )2 . These are tied to the energy-momentum distribution. Tensor fluctuations have a spectrum V A2 (k) ∼ . The spectrum is given the subscript “S” because it describes scalar fluctuations in the metric. Note that the actual normalization of (218) is convention-dependent. k=aH (218) where k = aH indicates that the quantity V 3 /(V )2 is to be evaluated at the moment when the physical scale of the perturbation λ = a/k is equal to the Hubble radius H −1. We can characterize the fluctuations in terms of their spectrum AS (k). They are related to the slow-roll parameters of the potential by nS = 1 − 6 + 2η (222) 68 (220) . but there will be slight deviations due to the gradual change in V as the inflaton rolls. (219) T 4 Mp k=aH The existence of tensor perturbations is a crucial prediction of inflation which may in principle be verifiable through observations of the polarization of the CMB.

Even in the more likely case that the perturbations observed in the CMB are scalar in nature. 180. slowly-rolling scalar field. Initially. inflation is not discerning. Our current knowledge of the amplitude of the perturbations already gives us important information about the energy scale of inflation. 175]. low-scale models [174. We should note that this discussion has been phrased in terms of the simplest models of inflation. the curvaton model [171. it is very likely that Vinflation ∼ 1015 -1016 GeV. Inflation ends when the slow-roll conditions are violated and.9 Reheating and Preheating Clearly. the value of V being constrained is that which was responsible for creating the observed fluctuations. brane inflation [176. the 1/4 in the exponent means that the dependence on is quite weak. the field begins to fall towards the minimum of its potential. 187]. over the last 5-10 years. allowing for departures from the relations between the slow-roll parameters and observable quantities. 177. A number of more complex models have been suggested. Rather. 173]. we will sketch the standard picture and mention briefly the new developments. namely. although unlikely). 5. inflation with novel kinetic terms [170]. we can hope through relations such as these to glean some information about the inflaton potential itself. How then does that matter of which we are made arise? How does the hot big bang phase of the universe commence? How is the universe reheated? For a decade or so reheating was thought to be a relatively well-understood phenomenon. Although we expect to be small. it has been realized that the story may be quite complicated. 182] and models where perturbations arise from modulated coupling constants [183. 184. 169]. 179. so observations of tensor modes yields direct knowledge of the energy scale. 185. 172. Note that the tensor perturbations depend on V alone (not its derivatives). 181. (223) 1016 GeV . 168.) This is remarkably reminiscent of the grand unification scale. 186. This list is necessarily incomplete. all energy density is in the 69 . in most models. one of the great strengths of inflation is its ability to redshift away all unwanted relics. (224) where is the slow-roll parameter defined in (196). and continued exploration of the varieties of inflationary cosmology will be a major theme of theoretical cosmology into the foreseeable future. we can instantly derive Vinflation ∼ (1016 GeV)4 . If large-scale CMB anisotropies have an appreciable tensor component (possible. at the end of inflation the universe contains nothing but the inflationary scalar field condensate. However. we can still write Vinflation ∼ 1/4 1/4 nT = −2 . Thus. some of these include hybrid inflation [167.and Since the spectral indices are in principle observable. featuring a single canonical. We will not have time to go into details here. unless this parameter is 1/4 extraordinarily tiny. However. 60 e-folds before the end of inflation. which is very encouraging. (Here. such as topological defects. 178. and in doing so any trace of radiation or dust-like matter is similarly redshifted away to nothing.

201. that inflation had rid us of. 5. In the case of bosons however. the expansion of the universe naturally damps the energy density. 206. 195. 197]. 194. we have seen that it achieves remarkable results. It seems unlikely that classical. which may be considerably smaller than the size of the background inflationary horizon. 193. yielding a distribution of products that is far from equilibrium. 2 3Mp (226) −1 and requiring the region to be sufficiently large means that its linear size is at least H2 . the Friedmann equation tells us that the local Hubble parameter is now larger than in the inflating background H2 = V2 > 2 3Mp V1 = H1 . consider inflation driven by a scalar field rolling down a simple potential as in figure (5. This is signified by an extremely rapid decay. 196. More importantly.10 The Beginnings of Inflation If inflation begins. One interesting outcome of preheating is that one can produce particles with energy far above the ultimate reheat temperature. and only much later settles down to an equilibrium distribution at energy TRH . this ignores the fact that the inflaton oscillations may give rise to parametric resonance. 200. To see this. one must beware of producing objects. preheating can provide some useful effects. such as interesting new ways to generate dark matter candidates and topological relics and to generate the baryon asymmetry [192. one consequence of quantum mechanics is that inflation may be future eternal [204. but this is now damped by two possible terms. 205. Imagine that. Such a rapid decay due to parametric resonance is known as preheating [190. such as radiation or massive particles. in a given space-like patch. inflation is occurring with the scalar field at a potential energy V1 . In the new region. Thus.10). then a rough expression for how the energy density evolves is ρφ + (3H + Γφ )ρφ = 0 . To take account of this one introduces a phenomenological decay term Γφ into the scalar field equation. 191]. both fermionic and bosonic [188. 202. If we focus on fermions only. Although the classical motion of the scalar field is towards the minimum of the potential. Although it can be shown [199. such as topological relics. ˙ (225) The inflaton undergoes damped oscillations and decays into radiation which equilibrates rapidly at a temperature known as the reheat temperature TRH . 208]. 203] that inflation cannot be past eternal. However. 70 . 189]. 207. First. It can be shown quite generally that the start of inflation in a previously non-inflating region requires pre-existing homogeneity over a horizon volume [198].inflaton. causal physics could cause this and we may interpret this as an indication that quantum physics may play a role in the process of inflation. there is a nonzero probability that quantum fluctuations will cause the inflaton to jump up to a higher value of the potential V2 > V1 over a sufficiently large part of the inflating patch. the inflaton may decay into other particles.

Perhaps string theory can help us with this. of Energy contract DE-FG02-90ER40560.11: Thus. Mahantappa.T. because of the exponential nature of inflation. and those regions drop out of the inflationary expansion and are free to become regions such of our own. in this picture. Juan Maldacena. eternal inflation provides us with an entirely new global view of the universe and erases many of our worries about the initial condition problems of inflation. and Ann Nelson) for inviting us to lecture and for creating such a vigorous and stimulating environment for students and lecturers alike. parts of space in which the classical motion of the inflaton to its minimum completes. of course. This is something we do not know how to treat fully at the present time. However. most regions of the universe inflate forever and therefore this process is known as eternal inflation. Acknowledgements We would each like the thank the TASI organizers (Howard Haber. If correct. inflation occurs in our new region with a larger Hubble parameter and.V( φ ) V2 V1 φ Figure 5. it is interesting to note that. The work of SMC is supported in part by U. as long as the probability for inflation to begin at all is not precisely zero. We would also like to thank the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics for hospitality while these proceedings were being completed. The work of MT is supported in part by the National Science Foundation (NSF) under grant PHY-0094122. There are. Dept. K. any region like ours observed at a later time comes from a previously inflating region with probability essentially unity. Nevertheless. the new patch very quickly contains a much larger volume of space than the old one. Eternal inflation relies on the quantum backreaction of geometry to matter fluctuations over an extended spatial region. Mark Trodden is a Cottrell Scholar of Research 71 . However.S. National Science Foundation Grant PHY01-14422 (CfCP) and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. some caution is in order when considering this model.

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