Title: Simulating the universe(s): from cosmic bubble collisions to cosmological observables with numerical relativity

The theory of eternal inflation in an inflaton potential with multiple vacua predicts that our universe is one of many bubble universes nucleating and growing inside an ever-expanding false vacuum. The collision of our bubble with another could provide an important observational signature to test this scenario. We develop and implement an algorithm for accurately computing the cosmological observables arising from bubble collisions directly from the Lagrangian of a single scalar field. We first simulate the collision spacetime by solving Einstein's equations, starting from nucleation and ending at reheating. Taking advantage of the collision's hyperbolic symmetry, the simulations are performed with a 1+1-dimensional fully relativistic code that uses adaptive mesh refinement. We then calculate the comoving curvature perturbation in an open Friedmann-Robertson-Walker universe, which is used to determine the temperature anisotropies of the cosmic microwave background radiation. For a fiducial Lagrangian, the anisotropies are well described by a power law in the cosine of the angular distance from the center of the collision signature. For a given form of the Lagrangian, the resulting observational predictions are inherently statistical due to stochastic elements of the bubble nucleation process. Further uncertainties arise due to our imperfect knowledge about inflationary and pre-recombination physics.more » We characterize observational predictions by computing the probability distributions over four phenomenological parameters which capture these intrinsic and model uncertainties. This represents the first fully-relativistic set of predictions from an ensemble of scalar field models giving rise to eternal inflation, yielding significant differences from previous non-relativistic approximations. Thus, our results provide a basis for a rigorous confrontation of these theories with cosmological data.« less

SCIPP and Department of Physics, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA, 95064 (United States)

Department of Physics and Astronomy, York University, Toronto, On, M3J 1P3 (Canada)

Department of Physics and Astronomy, University College London, London WC1E 6BT (United Kingdom)

Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, Waterloo, Ontario N2L 2Y5 (Canada)

Department of Physics, Long Island University, Brookville, NY, 11548 (United States)

Publication Date:

OSTI Identifier:

22370619

Resource Type:

Journal Article

Resource Relation:

Journal Name: Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics; Journal Volume: 2014; Journal Issue: 03; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

Country of Publication:

United States

Language:

English

Subject:

79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ALGORITHMS; ANISOTROPY; BUBBLES; COLLISIONS; EINSTEIN FIELD EQUATIONS; FORECASTING; INFLATIONARY UNIVERSE; LAGRANGIAN FUNCTION; RELATIVISTIC RANGE; RELICT RADIATION; SCALAR FIELDS; UNIVERSE COSMOLOGICAL INFLATION