Toward physical cosmology : focus on inhomogeneous geometry and its non-perturbative effects Article - Août 2011

Thomas Buchert

Thomas Buchert, « Toward physical cosmology : focus on inhomogeneous geometry and its non-perturbative effects  », Classical and Quantum Gravity, août 2011, p. 164007. ISSN 0264-9381


We outline the key steps toward the construction of a physical, fully relativistic cosmology. The influence of inhomogeneities on the effective evolution history of the Universe is encoded in backreaction terms and expressed through spatially averaged geometrical invariants. These are absent and potential candidates for the missing dark sources in the standard model. Since they can be interpreted as energies of an emerging scalar field (the morphon), we are in a position to propose a strategy of how phenomenological scalar field models for dark energy, dark matter and inflation, that are usually added as fundamental sources to a homogeneous-geometry (FLRW) cosmology, can be potentially traced back to the inhomogeneous geometrical properties of space and its embedding into spacetime. We lay down a line of arguments that is—thus far only qualitatively—conclusive, and we address open problems of quantitative nature, related to the interpretation of observations. We discuss within a covariant framework (i) the foliation problem and invariant definitions of backreaction effects ; (ii) the background problem and the notion of an effective cosmology ; (iii) generalizations of the cosmological principle and generalizations of the cosmological equations ; (iv) dark energies as energies of an effective scalar field ; (v) the global gravitational instability of the standard model and basins of attraction for effective states ; (vi) multiscale cosmological models and volume acceleration ; (vii) effective metrics and strategies for effective distance measurements on the light cone, including observational predictions ; (viii) examples of non-perturbative models, including explicit backreaction models for the LTB solution, extrapolations of the relativistic Lagrangian perturbation theory and scalar metric inhomogeneities. The role of scalar metric perturbations is critically examined and embedded into the non-perturbative framework.

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