Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3040085

Authors: Máté Csanád

In this paper we present the measurement of charged pion two-particle femtoscopic correlation functions in s N N = 200 GeV Au + Au collisions in 31 average transverse mass bins, separately for positive and negative pion pairs. Lévy-shaped source distributions yield a statistically acceptable description of the measured correlation functions, with three physical parameters: correlation strength parameter λ , Lévy index α and Lévy scale parameter R. The transverse mass dependence of these Lévy parameters is then investigated. Their physical interpretation is also discussed, and the appearance of a new scaling variable is observed.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3040084

Authors: Bálint Kurgyis Máté Csanád

In ultra-relativistic collisions of heavy ions, the strongly interacting Quark Gluon Plasma (sQGP) is created. The fluid nature of the sQGP was one of the important discoveries of high energy heavy ion physics in the last decades. Henceforth the explosion of this matter may be described by hydrodynamical models. Besides numerical simulations, it is important to study the analytic solutions of the equations of hydrodynamics, as these enable us to understand the connection of the final and initial states better. In this paper we present a perturbative, accelerating solution of relativistic hydrodynamics, on top of a known class of solutions describing Hubble-expansion. We describe the properties of this class of perturbative solutions, and investigate a few selected solutions in detail.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3040083

Authors: Emil Molnár István Prok Jeno Szirmai

The motivation for this talk and paper is related to the classification of the homogeneous simply connected maximal 3-geometries (the so-called Thurston geometries: E 3 , S 3 , H 3 , S 2 × R , H 2 × R , S L 2 R ˜ , Nil , and Sol ) and their applications in crystallography. The first author found in (Molnár 1997) (see also the more popular (Molnár et al. 2010; 2015) with co-author colleagues, together with more details) a unified projective interpretation for them in the sense of Felix Klein’s Erlangen Program: namely, each S of the above space geometries and its isometry group Isom ( S ) can be considered as a subspace of the projective 3-sphere: S ⊂ P S 3 , where a special maximal group G = Isom ( S ) ⊆ Coll ( P S 3 ) of collineations acts, leaving the above subspace S invariant. Vice-versa, we can start with the projective geometry, namely with the classification of Coll ( P S 3 ) through linear transforms of dual pairs of real 4-vector spaces ( V 4 , V 4 , R , ∼ ) = P S 3 (up to positive real multiplicative equivalence ∼) via Jordan normal forms. Then, we look for projective groups with 3 parameters, and with appropriate properties for convenient geometries described above and in this paper.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3040082

Authors: Victor Roy

We investigate the effect of intense magnetic fields on the ( 2 + 1 ) -dimensional reduced- magnetohydrodynamical (MHD) expansion of hot and dense quark–gluon plasma (QGP) produced in s NN = 200 GeV Au+Au collisions. For the sake of simplicity, we consider the case in which the magnetic field points in the direction perpendicular to the reaction plane. We also consider this field to be external, with energy density parametrized as a two-dimensional Gaussian. The width of the Gaussian along the directions orthogonal to the beam axis varies with the centrality of the collision. The dependence of the magnetic field on proper time ( τ ) is parametrized for the case of zero and finite electrical conductivity of the QGP. We solve the equations of motion of ideal hydrodynamics for such an external magnetic field. For collisions with a non-zero impact parameter we observe a considerable increase in the elliptic-flow coefficient v 2 of π − in the presence of an external magnetic field, and the increment in v 2 is found to depend on the evolution and the initial magnitude of the magnetic field.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3040081

Authors: Peter Morley Douglas Buettner

Condensed Neutrino Objects (CNO) are a candidate for the Dark Matter which everyone has been looking for. In this article, from Albert Einstein’s original 1911 and 1917 papers, we begin our review of the state of the research into whether or not condensed primordial “Big Bang” Dirac Neutrinos could be the Dark Matter. New research results include an Einasto density profile that fits to a range of candidate degenerate neutrino masses, goodness-of-fit test results for our functional CNO mass/radius relationship which fits to available weak lensing data, and new results based on revised constraints for the CNO that our Local Group of galaxies is embedded in.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3040078

Authors: Pavel Smirnov Mikhail Vasiliev

Conserved currents of any spin t &gt; 0 built from bosonic symmetric massless gauge fields of arbitrary integer spins s 1 + s 2 &gt; t in A d S 4 are found. Analogous to the case of 4 d Minkowski space, currents considered in this paper are not gauge invariant, but generate gauge-invariant conserved charges.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3040080

Authors: Boris Arbuzov

Wouldbe consequences of the existence of effective interactions in quantum gravitation theory are considered. In the framework of the approach, the example of a running gravitational coupling is presented, corresponding to an adequate description of effects, which nowadays are usually prescribed to dark matter and dark energy.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3040079

Authors: Yuri Ivanov

Analysis of directed flow ( v 1 ) of protons, antiprotons and pions in heavy-ion collisions is performed in the range of collision energies s N N = 2.7–39 GeV. Simulations have been done within a three-fluid model employing a purely hadronic equation of state (EoS) and two versions of the EoS with deconfinement transitions: a first-order phase transition and a smooth crossover transition. The crossover EoS is unambiguously preferable for the description of experimental data at lower collision energies s N N ≲ 20 Gev. However, at higher collision energies s N N ≳ 20 Gev. the purely hadronic EoS again becomes advantageous. This indicates that the deconfinement EoS in the quark-gluon sector should be stiffer at high baryon densities than those used in the calculation. The latter finding is in agreement with that discussed in astrophysics in connection with existence of hybrid stars with masses up to about two solar masses.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3040077

Authors: Jin-Beom Bae Euihun Joung Shailesh Lal

We extend our recent study on the duality between stringy higher spin theories and free conformal field theories (CFTs) in the S U ( N ) adjoint representation to other matrix models, namely the free S O ( N ) and S p ( N ) adjoint models as well as the free U ( N ) × U ( M ) bi-fundamental and O ( N ) × O ( M ) bi-vector models. After determining the spectrum of the theories in the planar limit by Polya counting, we compute the one loop vacuum energy and Casimir energy for their respective bulk duals by means of the Character Integral Representation of the Zeta Function (CIRZ) method, which we recently introduced. We also elaborate on possible ambiguities in the application of this method.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3040076

Authors: Ferenc Siklér

Short-range correlations of identified charged hadrons in pp ( s = 0.9, 2.76, and 7 TeV), pPb ( s NN = 5.02 TeV), and peripheral PbPb collisions ( s NN = 2.76 TeV) are studied with the CMS detector at the LHC. Charged pions, kaons, and protons at low momentum and in laboratory pseudorapidity | η | &lt; 1 are identified via their energy loss in the silicon tracker. The two-particle correlation functions show effects of quantum statistics, Coulomb interaction, and also indicate the role of multi-body resonance decays and mini-jets. The characteristics of the one-, two-, and three-dimensional correlation functions are studied as a function of transverse pair momentum, k T , and the charged-particle multiplicity of the event. The extracted radii are in the range 1–5 fm, reaching highest values for very high multiplicity pPb, also for similar multiplicity PbPb collisions, and decrease with increasing k T . The dependence of radii on multiplicity and k T largely factorizes and appears to be insensitive to the type of the colliding system and center-of-mass energy.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3040075

Authors: Edward Shuryak

Studies on heavy ion collisions have discovered that tiny fireballs of a new phase of matter—quark gluon plasma (QGP)—undergo an explosion, called the Little Bang. In spite of its small size, not only is it well described by hydrodynamics, but even small perturbations on top of the explosion turned out to be well described by hydrodynamical sound modes. The cosmological Big Bang also went through phase transitions, related with Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD) and electroweak/Higgs symmetry breaking, which are also expected to produce sounds. We discuss their subsequent evolution and hypothetical inverse acoustic cascade, amplifying the amplitude. Ultimately, the collision of two sound waves leads to the formation of one gravity waves. We briefly discuss how these gravity waves can be detected.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3040074

Authors: Mauricio Valenzuela

We propose a hybrid class of theories for higher spin gravity and matrix models, i.e., which handle simultaneously higher spin gravity fields and matrix models. The construction is similar to Vasiliev’s higher spin gravity, but part of the equations of motion are provided by the action principle of a matrix model. In particular, we construct a higher spin (gravity) matrix model related to type IIB matrix models/string theory that have a well defined classical limit, and which is compatible with higher spin gravity in A d S space. As it has been suggested that higher spin gravity should be related to string theory in a high energy (tensionless) regime, and, therefore to M-Theory, we expect that our construction will be useful to explore concrete connections.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3040073

Authors: Heba Sami Joseph Ntahompagaze Amare Abebe

This paper discusses a simple procedure to reconstruct f ( R ) -gravity models from exact cosmological solutions of the Einstein field equations with a non-interacting classical scalar field-and-radiation background. From the type of inflationary scenario we are interested in, we show how the potential functions can be obtained. We then show how an f ( R ) gravitational Lagrangian density that mimics the same cosmological expansion as the scalar field-driven inflation of general relativity (GR) can be reconstructed. As a demonstration, we calculate the slow-roll parameters (the spectral index n s and the tensor-to-scalar ratio r) and compare these to the Planck data.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3040072

Authors: Leonid Marochnik

In this seven-part paper, we show that gravitational waves (classical and quantum) produce the accelerated de Sitter expansion at the start and at the end of the cosmological evolution of the Universe. In these periods, the Universe contains no matter fields but contains classical and quantum metric fluctuations, i.e., it is filled with classical and quantum gravitational waves. In such evolution of the Universe, dominated by gravitational waves, the de Sitter state is the exact solution to the self-consistent equations for classical and quantum gravitational waves and background geometry for the empty space-time with FLRW metric. In both classical and quantum cases, this solution is of the instanton origin since it is obtained in the Euclidean space of imaginary time with the subsequent analytic continuation to real time. The cosmological acceleration from gravitational waves provides a transparent physical explanation to the coincidence, threshold and “old cosmological constant” paradoxes of dark energy avoiding recourse to the anthropic principle. The cosmological acceleration from virtual gravitons at the start of the Universe evolution produces inflation, which is consistent with the observational data on CMB anisotropy. Section 1 is devoted to cosmological acceleration from classical gravitational waves. Section 2 is devoted to the theory of virtual gravitons in the Universe. Section 3 is devoted to cosmological acceleration from virtual gravitons. Section 4 discusses the consistency of the theory with observational data on dark energy and inflation. The discussion of mechanism of acceleration and cosmological scenario are contained in Sections 5 and 6. Appendix contains the theory of stochastic nonlinear gravitational waves of arbitrary wavelength and amplitude in an isotropic Universe.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3040071

Authors: Marcello Rotondo Yasusada Nambu

How precisely can we estimate cosmological parameters by performing a quantum measurement on a cosmological quantum state? In quantum estimation theory, the variance of an unbiased parameter estimator is bounded from below by the inverse of measurement-dependent Fisher information and ultimately by quantum Fisher information, which is the maximization of the former over all positive operator-valued measurements. Such bound is known as the quantum Cramer –Rao bound. We consider the evolution of a massless scalar field with Bunch–Davies vacuum in a spatially flat FLRW spacetime, which results in a two-mode squeezed vacuum out-state for each field wave number mode. We obtain the expressions of the quantum Fisher information as well as the Fisher informations associated to occupation number measurement and power spectrum measurement, and show the specific results of their evolution for pure de Sitter expansion and de Sitter expansion followed by a radiation-dominated phase as examples. We will discuss these results from the point of view of the quantum-to-classical transition of cosmological perturbations and show quantitatively how this transition and the residual quantum correlations affect the bound on the precision.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3040070

Authors: Yasuaki Hikida Takahiro Uetoko

We examine three point functions with two scalar operators and a higher spin current in 2d W N minimal model to the next non-trivial order in 1 / N expansion. The minimal model was proposed to be dual to a 3d higher spin gauge theory, and 1 / N corrections should be interpreted as quantum effects in the dual gravity theory. We develop a simple and systematic method to obtain three point functions by decomposing four point functions of scalar operators with Virasoro conformal blocks. Applying the method, we reproduce known results at the leading order in 1 / N and obtain new ones at the next leading order. As confirmation, we check that our results satisfy relations among three point functions conjectured before.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3040069

Authors: Michael Bradley Mats Forsberg Zoltán Keresztes

In this work we consider perturbations of homogeneous and hypersurface orthogonal cosmological backgrounds with local rotational symmetry (LRS), using a method based on the 1 + 1 + 2 covariant split of spacetime. The backgrounds, of LRS class II, are characterised by that the vorticity, the twist of the 2-sheets, and the magnetic part of the Weyl tensor all vanish. They include the flat Friedmann universe as a special case. The matter contents of the perturbed spacetimes are given by vorticity-free perfect fluids, but otherwise the perturbations are arbitrary and describe gravitational, shear, and density waves. All the perturbation variables can be given in terms of the time evolution of a set of six harmonic coefficients. This set decouples into one set of four coefficients with the density perturbations acting as source terms, and another set of two coefficients describing damped source-free gravitational waves with odd parity. We also consider the flat Friedmann universe, which has been considered by several others using the 1 + 3 covariant split, as a check of the isotropic limit. In agreement with earlier results we find a second-order wavelike equation for the magnetic part of the Weyl tensor which decouples from the density gradient for the flat Friedmann universes. Assuming vanishing vector perturbations, including the density gradient, we find a similar equation for the electric part of the Weyl tensor, which was previously unnoticed.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3040068

Authors: Jihn Kim

Pseudoscalars appear frequently in particle spectra. They can be light if they appear as pseudo-Goldstone bosons from some spontaneously broken global symmetries with the decay constant f. Since any global symmetry is broken at least by quantum gravitational effects, all pseudoscalars are massive. The mass scale of a pseudoscalar is determined by the spontaneous symmetry breaking scale f of the corresponding global symmetry and the explicit breaking terms in the effective potential. The explicit breaking terms can arise from anomaly terms with some non-Abelian gauge groups among which the best-known example is the potential of the QCD axion. Even if there is no breaking terms from gauge anomalies, there can be explicit breaking terms in the potential in which case the leading term suppressed by f determines the pseudoscalar mass scale. If the breaking term is extremely small and the decay constant is trans-Planckian, the corresponding pseudoscalar can be a candidate for a quintessential axion. In the other extreme that the breaking scales are large, still the pseudo-Goldstone boson mass scales are in general smaller than the decay constants. In such a case, still the potential of the pseudo-Goldstone boson at the grand unification scale is sufficiently flat near the top of the potential that it can be a good candidate for an inflationary model. We review these ideas in the bosonic collective motion framework.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3040067

Authors: Ramin Zahedi

In this article, as a new mathematical approach to origin of the laws of nature, using a new basic algebraic axiomatic (matrix) formalism based on the ring theory and Clifford algebras (presented in Section 2), “it is shown that certain mathematical forms of fundamental laws of nature, including laws governing the fundamental forces of nature (represented by a set of two definite classes of general covariant massive field equations, with new matrix formalisms), are derived uniquely from only a very few axioms.” In agreement with the rational Lorentz group, it is also basically assumed that the components of relativistic energy-momentum can only take rational values. In essence, the main scheme of this new mathematical axiomatic approach to the fundamental laws of nature is as follows: First, based on the assumption of the rationality of D-momentum and by linearization (along with a parameterization procedure) of the Lorentz invariant energy-momentum quadratic relation, a unique set of Lorentz invariant systems of homogeneous linear equations (with matrix formalisms compatible with certain Clifford and symmetric algebras) is derived. Then by an initial quantization (followed by a basic procedure of minimal coupling to space-time geometry) of these determined systems of linear equations, a set of two classes of general covariant massive (tensor) field equations (with matrix formalisms compatible with certain Clifford, and Weyl algebras) is derived uniquely as well.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3030066

Authors: Igor Smolyaninov

Lattices of topological defects, such as Abrikosov lattices and domain wall lattices, often arise as metastable ground states in higher-dimensional field theoretical models. We demonstrate that such lattice states may be described as extra-dimensional “metamaterials” via higher-dimensional effective medium theory. A 4 + 1 dimensional extension of Maxwell electrodynamics with a compactified time-like dimension is considered as an example. It is demonstrated that from the point of view of macroscopic electrodynamics an Abrikosov lattice state in such a 4 + 1 dimensional spacetime may be described as a uniaxial hyperbolic medium. Extraordinary photons perceive this medium as a 3 + 1 dimensional Minkowski spacetime in which one of the original spatial dimensions plays the role of a new time-like coordinate. Since the metric signature of this effective spacetime depends on the Abrikosov lattice periodicity, the described model may be useful in studying metric signature transitions.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3030065

Authors: Salvatore Capozziello

Dark matter is probably the most fascinating enigma of modern physics [...]

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3030064

Authors: Roberto Bonezzi

Conformal higher spin (CHS) fields, yet being non unitary, provide a remarkable example of a consistent interacting higher spin theory in flat space background, that is local to all orders. The non-linear action is defined as the logarithmically UV divergent part of a one-loop scalar effective action. In this paper we take a particle model, that describes the interaction of a scalar particle to the CHS background, and compute its path integral on the circle. We thus provide a worldline representation for the CHS action, and rederive its quadratic part. We plan to come back to the subject, to compute cubic and higher vertices, in a future work.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3030063

Authors: Yurii Zinoviev

In this paper, we consider the frame-like formulation for the so-called infinite (continuous) spin representations of the Poincare algebra. In the three-dimensional case, we give explicit Lagrangian formulation for bosonic and fermionic infinite spin fields (including the complete sets of the gauge-invariant objects and all the necessary extra fields). Moreover, we find the supertransformations for the supermultiplet containing one bosonic and one fermionic field, leaving the sum of their Lagrangians invariant. Properties of such fields and supermultiplets in four and higher dimensions are also briefly discussed.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3030062

Authors: Airton Deppman

One important ingredient in the study of cosmological evolution is the equation of state of the primordial matter formed in the first stages of the Universe. It is believed that the first matter produced was of hadronic nature, probably the quark–gluon plasma which has been studied in high-energy collisions. There are several experimental indications of self-similarity in hadronic systems—in particular in multiparticle production at high energies. Theoretically, this property was associated with the dynamics of particle production, but it is also possible to relate self-similarity to the hadron structure—in particular to a fractal structure of this system. In doing so, it is found that the thermodynamics of hadron systems at equilibrium must present specific properties that are indeed supported by data. In particular, the well-known self-consistence principle proposed by Hagedorn 50 years ago is shown to be valid, and can correctly describe experimental distributions, mass spectrum of observed particles, and other properties of the hadronic matter. In the present work, a review of the theoretical developments related to the thermodynamical properties of hadronic matter and its applications in other fields is presented.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3030061

Authors: Evgeny Skvortsov Tung Tran

Large-N, ϵ -expansion or the conformal bootstrap allow one to make sense of some of conformal field theories in non-integer dimension, which suggests that AdS/CFT may also extend to fractional dimensions. It was shown recently that the sphere free energy and the a-anomaly coefficient of the free scalar field can be reproduced as a one-loop effect in the dual higher-spin theory in a number of integer dimensions. We extend this result to all integer and also to fractional dimensions. Upon changing the boundary conditions in the higher-spin theory the sphere free energy of the large-N Wilson-Fisher CFT can also be reproduced from the higher-spin side.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3030060

Authors: Thomas Naumann

Our existence depends on a variety of constants which appear to be extremely fine-tuned to allow for the existence of life as we know it. These include the number of spatial dimensions, the strengths of the forces, the masses of the particles, the composition of the Universe, and others. On the occasion of the 300th anniversary of the death of G.W. Leibniz, we discuss the question of whether we live in the “Best of all possible Worlds”. The hypothesis of a multiverse could explain the mysterious fine tuning of so many fundamental quantities. Anthropic arguments are critically reviewed.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3030059

Authors: Andrzej Królak Mandar Patil

This article deals with the first detection of gravitational waves by the advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) detectors on 14 September 2015, where the signal was generated by two stellar mass black holes with masses 36 M ⊙ and 29 M ⊙ that merged to form a 62 M ⊙ black hole, releasing 3 M ⊙ energy in gravitational waves, almost 1.3 billion years ago. We begin by providing a brief overview of gravitational waves, their sources and the gravitational wave detectors. We then describe in detail the first detection of gravitational waves from a binary black hole merger. We then comment on the electromagnetic follow up of the detection event with various telescopes. Finally, we conclude with the discussion on the tests of gravity and fundamental physics with the first gravitational wave detection event.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3030058

Authors: Ana Alonso-Serrano Matt Visser

Blackbody radiation, emitted from a furnace and described by a Planck spectrum, contains (on average) an entropy of 3 . 9 ± 2 . 5 bits per photon. Since normal physical burning is a unitary process, this amount of entropy is compensated by the same amount of “hidden information” in correlations between the photons. The importance of this result lies in the posterior extension of this argument to the Hawking radiation from black holes, demonstrating that the assumption of unitarity leads to a perfectly reasonable entropy/information budget for the evaporation process. In order to carry out this calculation, we adopt a variant of the “average subsystem” approach, but consider a tripartite pure system that includes the influence of the rest of the universe, and which allows “young” black holes to still have a non-zero entropy; which we identify with the standard Bekenstein entropy.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3030056

Authors: Leo Rodriguez Shanshan Rodriguez

We compute the full asymptotic symmetry group of black holes belonging to the same equivalence class of solutions within the conformal Weyl gravity formalism. We do this within an A d S 2 / C F T 1 correspondence and by performing a Robinson–Wilczek two-dimensional reduction, thus enabling the construction of effective quantum theory of the remaining field content. The resulting energy momentum tensors generate asymptotic Virasoro algebras to s-waves, with calculable central extensions. These centers, in conjunction with their proper regularized lowest Virasoro eigenmodes, yield the Bekenstein–Hawking black hole entropy via the statistical Cardy formula. We also analyze quantum holomorphic fluxes of the dual conformal field theories (CFTs) in the near horizon, giving rise to finite Hawking temperatures weighted by the central charges of the respective black hole spacetimes. We conclude with a discussion and outlook for future work.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3030057

Authors: Gennady Bisnovatyi-Kogan Oleg Tsupko

In this article, we present an overview of the new developments in problems of the plasma influence on the effects of gravitational lensing, complemented by pieces of new material and relevant discussions. Deflection of light in the presence of gravity and plasma is determined by a complex combination of various physical phenomena: gravity, dispersion, refraction. In particular, the gravitational deflection itself, in a homogeneous plasma without refraction, differs from the vacuum one and depends on the frequency of the photon. In an inhomogeneous plasma, chromatic refraction also takes place. We describe chromatic effects in strong lens systems including a shift of angular position of image and a change in magnification. We also investigate high-order images that arise when lensing on a black hole surrounded by homogeneous plasma. The recent results of analytical studies of the effect of plasma on the shadow of the Schwarzschild and Kerr black holes are presented.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3030055

Authors: Sumanta Chakraborty Kinjalk Lochan

Black holes, initially thought of as very interesting mathematical and geometric solutions of general relativity, over time, have come up with surprises and challenges for modern physics. In modern times, they have started to test our confidence in the fundamental understanding of nature. The most serious charge on the black holes is that they eat up information, never to release and subsequently erase it. This goes absolutely against the sacred principles of all other branches of fundamental sciences. This realization has shaken the very base of foundational concepts, both in quantum theory and gravity, which we always took for granted. Attempts to get rid of of this charge, have led us to crossroads with concepts, hold dearly in quantum theory. The sphere of black hole’s tussle with quantum theory has readily and steadily grown, from the advent of the Hawking radiation some four decades back, into domain of quantum information theory in modern times, most aptly, recently put in the form of the firewall puzzle. Do black holes really indicate something sinister about their existence or do they really point towards the troubles of ignoring the fundamental issues, our modern theories are seemingly plagued with? In this review, we focus on issues pertaining to black hole evaporation, the development of the information loss paradox, its recent formulation, the leading debates and promising directions in the community.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3030054

Authors: Juan de Nova

From both a theoretical and an experimental point of view, Bose–Einstein condensates are good candidates for studying gravitational analogues of black holes and black-hole lasers. In particular, a recent experiment has shown that a black-hole laser configuration can be created in the laboratory. However, the most considered theoretical models for analog black-hole lasers are quite difficult to implement experimentally. In order to fill this gap, we devote this work to present more realistic models for black-hole lasers. For that purpose, we first prove that, by symmetrically extending every black-hole configuration, one can obtain a black-hole laser configuration with an arbitrarily large supersonic region. Based on this result, we propose the use of an attractive square well and a double delta-barrier, which can be implemented using standard experimental tools, for studying black-hole lasers. We also compute the different stationary states of these setups, identifying the true ground state of the system and discussing the relation between the obtained solutions and the appearance of dynamical instabilities.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3030053

Authors: Chien-Hsiu Lee

First proposed by Paczynski in 1986, microlensing has been instrumental in the search for compact dark matter as well as discovery and characterization of exoplanets. In this article, we provide a brief history of microlensing, especially on the discoveries of compact objects and exoplanets. We then review the basics of microlensing and how astrometry can help break the degeneracy, providing a more robust determination of the nature of the microlensing events. We also outline prospects that will be made by on-going and forth-coming experiments/observatories.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3030052

Authors: Frederic Schuller Marcus Werner

We consider light propagation in a spacetime whose kinematics allow weak birefringence, and whose dynamics have recently been derived by gravitational closure. Revisiting the definitions of luminosity and angular diameter distances in this setting, we present a modification of the Etherington distance duality relation in a weak gravitational field around a point mass. This provides the first concrete example of how the non-metricities implied by gravitational closure of birefringent electrodynamics affect observationally testable relations.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3020050

Authors: Dmitry Antonov

This review discusses confinement, as well as the topological and critical phenomena, in the gauge theories which provide the condensation of magnetic monopoles. These theories include the 3D SU(N) Georgi-Glashow model, the 4D [U(1)] N - 1 -invariant compact QED , and the [U(1)] N - 1 -invariant dual Abelian Higgs model. After a general introduction to the string models of confinement, an analytic description of this penomenon is provided at the example of the 3D SU(N) Georgi-Glashow model, with a special emphasis placed on the so-called Casimir scaling of k-string tensions in that model. We further discuss the string representation of the 3D [U(1)] N - 1 -invariant compact QED, as well as of its 4D generalization with the inclusion of the Θ -term. We compare topological effects, which appear in the latter case, with those that take place in the 3D QED extended by the Chern-Simons term. We further discuss the string representation of the ’t Hooft-loop average in the [U(1)] N - 1 -invariant dual Abelian Higgs model extended by the Θ -term, along with the topological effects caused by this term. These topological effects are compared with those occurring in the 3D dual Abelian Higgs model (i.e., the dual Landau-Ginzburg theory) extended by the Chern-Simons term. In the second part of the review, we discuss critical properties of the weakly-coupled 3D confining theories. These theories include the 3D compact QED, along with its fermionic extension, and the 3D Georgi-Glashow model.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3020051

Authors: Hikaru Kawai Yuki Yokokura

We analyze the time evolution of a spherically-symmetric collapsing matter from the point of view that black holes evaporate by nature. We consider conformal matters and solve the semi-classical Einstein equation G μ ν = 8 π G 〈 T μ ν 〉 by using the four-dimensional Weyl anomaly with a large c coefficient. Here, 〈 T μ ν 〉 contains the contribution from both the collapsing matter and Hawking radiation. The solution indicates that the collapsing matter forms a dense object and evaporates without horizon or singularity, and it has a surface, but looks like an ordinary black hole from the outside. Any object we recognize as a black hole should be such an object.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3020048

Authors: Daniele Malafarina

In the last four decades, different programs have been carried out aiming at understanding the final fate of gravitational collapse of massive bodies once some prescriptions for the behaviour of gravity in the strong field regime are provided. The general picture arising from most of these scenarios is that the classical singularity at the end of collapse is replaced by a bounce. The most striking consequence of the bounce is that the black hole horizon may live for only a finite time. The possible implications for astrophysics are important since, if these models capture the essence of the collapse of a massive star, an observable signature of quantum gravity may be hiding in astrophysical phenomena. One intriguing idea that is implied by these models is the possible existence of exotic compact objects, of high density and finite size, that may not be covered by an horizon. The present article outlines the main features of these collapse models and some of the most relevant open problems. The aim is to provide a comprehensive (as much as possible) overview of the current status of the field from the point of view of astrophysics. As a little extra, a new toy model for collapse leading to the formation of a quasi static compact object is presented.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3020049

Authors: Salvador Robles-Pérez

The observability of the multiverse is at the very root of its physical significance as a scientific proposal. In this conference we present, within the third quantization formalism, an interacting scheme between the wave functions of different universes and analyze the effects of some particular values of the coupling function. One of the main consequences of the interaction between universes can be the appearance of a pre-inflationary stage in the evolution of the universes that might leave observable consequences in the properties of the CMB.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3020047

Authors: Jose Beltrán Jiménez Tomi Koivisto

We briefly review the basics of Weyl geometry and its natural extension by a general linear ”distortion” of the metric connection by a vector field. A special class of the connections has torsion but retains the Weyl’s semi-metricity condition. We present ghost-free gravitational theories in this geometrical setup and highlight their possible cosmological applications, such as new self-tuning solutions and new bouncing solutions found in the quadratic-curvature theories. The vector distortion can mimic the cosmological effects of dark matter.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3020046

Authors: Katarzyna Leszczyńska

The main task of this review is to discuss quantum cosmology minisuperspace models based on the Wheeler–DeWitt equation, which apart from the standard matter and 3-geometry configuration degrees of freedom, allow those related to the variability of physical constants—varying speed of light (VSL) c and varying gravitational constant G. The tunneling probability of the universe “from nothing” to the Friedmann phase will be given for such varying constants minisuperspace models.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3020041

Authors: Arghya Choudhury Kamila Kowalska Leszek Roszkowski Enrico Sessolo Andrew Williams

Using the existing simplified model framework, we build several dark matter models which have suppressed spin-independent scattering cross section. We show that the scattering cross section can vanish due to interference effects with models obtained by simple combinations of simplified models. For weakly interacting massive particle (WIMP) masses ≳10 GeV, collider limits are usually much weaker than the direct detection limits coming from LUX or XENON100. However, for our model combinations, LHC analyses are more competitive for some parts of the parameter space. The regions with direct detection blind spots can be strongly constrained from the complementary use of several Large Hadron Collider (LHC) searches like mono-jet, jets + missing transverse energy, heavy vector resonance searches, etc. We evaluate the strongest limits for combinations of scalar + vector, “squark” + vector, and scalar + “squark” mediator, and present the LHC 14 TeV projections.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3020045

Authors: Ivan Arraut

We calculate explicitly the black-hole temperature for the Schwarzschild de-Sitter solution inside massive gravity by defining the Killing-vector in the direction of the Stückelberg function. We then consider the conditions which an observer in massive gravity has to obey in order to agree with the standard results of General Relativity.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3020044

Authors: Signe Riemer-Sørensen Espen Jenssen

Two new high-precision measurements of the deuterium abundance from absorbers along the line of sight to the quasar PKS1937–1009 were presented. The absorbers have lower neutral hydrogen column densities (N(HI) ≈ 18 cm − 2 ) than for previous high-precision measurements, boding well for further extensions of the sample due to the plenitude of low column density absorbers. The total high-precision sample now consists of 12 measurements with a weighted average deuterium abundance of D/H = 2 . 55 ± 0 . 02 × 10 − 5 . The sample does not favour a dipole similar to the one detected for the fine structure constant. The increased precision also calls for improved nucleosynthesis predictions. For that purpose we have updated the public AlterBBN code including new reactions, updated nuclear reaction rates, and the possibility of adding new physics such as dark matter. The standard Big Bang Nucleosynthesis prediction of D/H = 2 . 456 ± 0 . 057 × 10 − 5 is consistent with the observed value within 1.7 standard deviations.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3020042

Authors: C. Silva Francisco Brito

In this work, we present some results relating to the issue of the Loop Quantum Black Holes (LQBH) thermodynamics by the use of the tunneling radiation formalism. The information loss paradox is also discussed in this context, and we have considered the influence of back reaction effects.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3020043

Authors: Roman Pasechnik George Prokhorov Oleg Teryaev

An analog of Quantum Chromo Dynamics (QCD) sector known as mirror QCD (mQCD) can affect the cosmological evolution due to a non-trivial contribution to the Cosmological Constant analogous to that induced by the ground state in non-perturbative QCD. In this work, we explore a plausible hypothesis for trace anomalies cancellation between the usual QCD and mQCD. Such an anomaly cancellation between the two gauge theories, if it exists in Nature, would lead to a suppression or even elimination of their contributions to the Cosmological Constant. The trace anomaly compensation condition and the form of the non-perturbative mQCD coupling constant in the infrared limit have been proposed by analysing a partial non-perturbative solution of the Einstein–Yang-Mills equations of motion.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3020040

Authors: Ken’ichi Saikawa

In this contribution, we discuss the cosmological scenario where unstable domain walls are formed in the early universe and their late-time annihilation produces a significant amount of gravitational waves. After describing cosmological constraints on long-lived domain walls, we estimate the typical amplitude and frequency of gravitational waves observed today. We also review possible extensions of the standard model of particle physics that predict the formation of unstable domain walls and can be probed by observation of relic gravitational waves. It is shown that recent results of pulser timing arrays and direct detection experiments partially exclude the relevant parameter space, and that a much wider parameter space can be covered by the next generation of gravitational wave observatories.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3020039

Authors: Irina Dymnikova Anna Dobosz Bożena Sołtysek

Cosmological constant corresponds to the maximally symmetric cosmological term with the equation of state p = − ρ . Introducing a cosmological term with the reduced symmetry, p r = − ρ in the spherically symmetric case, makes cosmological constant intrinsically variable component of a variable cosmological term which describes time-dependent and spatially inhomogeneous vacuum dark energy. Relaxation of the cosmological constant from the big initial value to the presently observed value can be then described in general setting by the spherically symmetric cosmology of the Lemaître class. We outline in detail the cosmological model with the global structure of the de Sitter spacetime distinguished by the holographic principle as the only stable product of quantum evaporation of the cosmological horizon entirely determined by its quantum dynamics. Density of the vacuum dark energy is presented by semiclassical description of vacuum polarization in the spherically symmetric gravitational field, and its initial value is chosen at the GUT scale. The final non-zero value of the cosmological constant is tightly fixed by the quantum dynamics of evaporation and appears in the reasonable agreement with its observational value.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3020038

Authors: Simen Braeck Øyvind G. Grøn Ivar Farup

In order to provide a better understanding of rotating universe models, and in particular the Gödel universe, we discuss the relationship between cosmic rotation and perfect inertial dragging. In this connection, the concept of causal mass is defined in a cosmological context, and discussed in relation to the cosmic inertial dragging effect. Then, we calculate the mass inside the particle horizon of the flat ΛCDM-model integrated along the past light cone. The calculation shows that the Schwarzschild radius of this mass is around three times the radius of the particle horizon. This indicates that there is close to perfect inertial dragging in our universe. Hence, the calculation provides an explanation for the observation that the swinging plane of a Foucault pendulum follows the stars.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3020037

Authors: Laur Järv

In theories where a scalar field couples nonminimally to gravity, the effective gravitational “constant” becomes dependent on the value of the scalar field. This note first gives a brief review on how the cosmological evolution provides a dynamical stabilization for the gravitational “constant” as the system relaxes towards general relativity in matter dominated and potential dominated regimes for scalar-(curvature)tensor and scalar-torsion gravities. Second part summarizes the radius dependence of the gravitational “constant” around a point mass in the parametrized post-Newtonian formalism for scalar-tensor and multiscalar-tensor gravity.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3020036

Authors: Mariam Bouhmadi-López Imanol Albarran Che-Yu Chen

Quantum gravity is the theory that is expected to successfully describe systems that are under strong gravitational effects while at the same time being of an extreme quantum nature. When this principle is applied to the universe as a whole, we use what is commonly named “quantum cosmology”. So far we do not have a definite quantum theory of gravity or cosmology, but we have several promising approaches. Here we will review the application of the Wheeler–DeWitt formalism to the late-time universe, where it might face a Big Rip future singularity. The Big Rip singularity is the most virulent future dark energy singularity which can happen not only in general relativity but also in some modified theories of gravity. Our goal in this paper is to review two simple setups of the quantisation of the Big Rip in a Friedmann–Lemaître–Robertson–Walker universe within general relativity and in a modified theory of gravity.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3020035

Authors: Vincenzo Salzano

We describe an alternative way to use future Baryon Acoustic Oscillation observations to perform non-mainstream research. We focus on the so-called Varying Speed of Light theories, in which the speed of light is made to vary in time. Using prescriptions from future BAO surveys (BOSS, DESI, WFirst-2.4 and SKA), we show that, within such surveys, a 1% Varying Speed of Light (VSL) signal could be detected at 3 sigmas confidence level, in the redshift interval [0.75, 1.45]. Smaller signals will be hardly detected. We also discuss some possible problems related to such kinds of observation, in particular, the degeneracy between a VSL signal and a non-null spatial curvature.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3020034

Authors: Matthew Bainbridge John Webb

We recently presented a new “artificial intelligence” method for the analysis of high-resolution absorption spectra (Bainbridge and Webb, Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc. 2017, doi:10.1093/mnras/stx179). This new method unifies three established numerical methods: a genetic algorithm (GVPFIT); non-linear least-squares optimisation with parameter constraints (VPFIT); and Bayesian Model Averaging (BMA). In this work, we investigate the performance of GVPFIT and BMA over a broad range of velocity structures using synthetic spectra. We found that this new method recovers the velocity structures of the absorption systems and accurately estimates variation in the fine structure constant. Studies such as this one are required to evaluate this new method before it can be applied to the analysis of large sets of absorption spectra. This is the first time that a sample of synthetic spectra has been utilised to investigate the analysis of absorption spectra. Probing the variation of nature’s fundamental constants (such as the fine structure constant), through the analysis of absorption spectra, is one of the most direct ways of testing the universality of physical laws. This “artificial intelligence” method provides a way to avoid the main limiting factor, i.e., human interaction, in the analysis of absorption spectra.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3020033

Authors: Nelson Nunes Prado Martín-Moruno Francisco Lobo

We review the most general scalar-tensor cosmological models with up to second-order derivatives in the field equations that have a fixed spatially flat de Sitter critical point independent of the material content or vacuum energy. This subclass of the Horndeski Lagrangian is capable of dynamically adjusting any value of the vacuum energy of the matter fields at the critical point. We present the cosmological evolution of the linear models and the non-linear models with shift symmetry. We come to the conclusion that the shift symmetric non-linear models can deliver a viable background compatible with current observations.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3020032

Authors: Matthew Bainbridge Martin Barstow Nicole Reindl W.-Ü Tchang-Brillet Thomas Ayres John Webb John Barrow Jiting Hu Jay Holberg Simon Preval Wim Ubachs Vladimir Dzuba Victor Flambaum Vincent Dumont Julian Berengut

Hot white dwarf stars are the ideal probe for a relationship between the fine-structure constant and strong gravitational fields, providing us with an opportunity for a direct observational test. We study a sample of hot white dwarf stars, combining far-UV spectroscopic observations, atomic physics, atmospheric modelling, and fundamental physics in the search for variation in the fine structure constant. This variation manifests as shifts in the observed wavelengths of absorption lines, such as quadruply ionized iron (FeV) and quadruply ionized nickel (NiV), when compared to laboratory wavelengths. Berengut et al. (Phys. Rev. Lett. 2013, 111, 010801) demonstrated the validity of such an analysis using high-resolution Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) spectra of G191-B2B. We have made three important improvements by: (a) using three new independent sets of laboratory wavelengths; (b) analysing a sample of objects; and (c) improving the methodology by incorporating robust techniques from previous studies towards quasars (the Many Multiplet method). A successful detection would be the first direct measurement of a gravitational field effect on a bare constant of nature. Here we describe our approach and present preliminary results from nine objects using both FeV and NiV.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3020031

Authors: Jerzy Król Torsten Asselmeyer-Maluga Krzysztof Bielas Paweł Klimasara

Recently, a cosmological model based on smooth open 4-manifolds admitting non-standard smoothness structures was proposed. The manifolds are exotic versions of R 4 and S 3 × R . The model has been developed further and proven to be capable of obtaining some realistic cosmological parameters from these exotic smoothings. The important problem of the quantum origins of the exotic smoothness of space-time is addressed here. It is shown that the algebraic structure of the quantum-mechanical lattice of projections enforces exotic smoothness on R n . Since the only possibility for such a structure is exotic R 4 , it is found to be a reasonable explanation of the large-scale four-dimensionality of space-time. This is based on our recent research indicating the role of set-theoretic forcing in quantum mechanics. In particular, it is shown that a distributive lattice of projections implies the standard smooth structure on R 4 . Two examples of models valid for cosmology are discussed. The important result that the cosmological constant can be identified with the constant curvature of the embedding ( exotic R 4 ) → R 4 is referred. . The calculations are in good agreement with the observed small value of the dark energy density.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3020030

Authors: Ana Leite Carlos Martins Paolo Molaro

ESPRESSO is a high-resolution-ultra-stable spectrograph for the Very Large Telescope (VLT), whose commissioning will start in 2017. One of its key science goals is to test the stability of nature’s fundamental couplings with unprecedented accuracy and control of possible systematics. A total of 27 nights of the ESPRESSO Consortium’s guaranteed time observations (GTO) will be spent on testing the stability of the fine-structure constant and other fundamental couplings. A set of 14 priority optimal targets have been selected for the GTO period. In this work, we discuss the criteria underlying this selection, describe the selected targets, and present some forecasts of the impact of these measurements on fundamental physics and cosmology, focusing on dark energy constraints and using future supernova type Ia surveys as a comparison point. This report is a summary of the results reported in Phys. Rev. D 2016, 94, 123512, to which we refer the reader for further details.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3020029

Authors: Jakub Mielczarek

In the recent article Phys. Lett. B 2016, 759, 424–429, a new class of field theories called Nonlinear Field Space Theory was proposed. In this approach, the standard field theories are considered as linear approximations to some more general theories characterized by nonlinear field phase spaces. The case of spherical geometry is especially interesting due to its relation with the spin physics. Here, we explore this possibility, showing that classical scalar field theory with such a field space can be viewed as a perturbation of a continuous spin system. In this picture, the spin precession and the scalar field excitations are dual descriptions of the same physics. The duality is studied in the example of the Heisenberg model. It is shown that the Heisenberg model coupled to a magnetic field leads to a non-relativistic scalar field theory, characterized by quadratic dispersion relation. Finally, on the basis of analysis of the relation between the spin phase space and the scalar field theory, we propose the Spin-Field correspondence between the known types of fields and the corresponding spin systems.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3020028

Authors: Sugumi Kanno

In this report, we consider cosmological implications of quantum entanglement between two causally disconnected universes in the multiverse. Supposing that our universe was initially entangled with a causally separated universe, we compute the spectrum of vacuum fluctuations of our universe. To clearly see the effect of entanglement, we compare it with the spectrum of an initially non-entangled state. It is found that, due to quantum interference, scale-dependent modulations may enter the spectrum for the case of an initially non-entangled state. We discuss that the existence of causally disconnected universes may be experimentally tested by analyzing correlators in detail.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3010027

Authors: Tomasz Miller

Drawing from the optimal transport theory adapted to the Lorentzian setting, we propose and study the extension of the Sorkin–Woolgar causal relation K + onto the space of Borel probability measures on a given spacetime. We show that it retains its fundamental properties of transitivity and closedness. Furthermore, we list and prove several characterizations of this relation, including the “measure-theoretic” analogue of the characterization of K + in terms of time functions.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3010026

Authors: Hussain Gohar

We study the variation of fundamental constants in cosmology while dealing with thermodynamic aspects of gravity. We focus on the variation of the speed of light, c, and Newton’s gravitational constant, G, with respect to cosmic time. We find the constraints on the possible variation of these constants by comparing varying constants of cosmological models with the latest observational data.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3010025

Authors: Michał Eckstein

We review the concept of ‘noncommutative spacetime’ approached from an operational stand-point and explain how to endow it with suitable geometrical structures. The latter involves i.a. the causal structure, which we illustrate with a simple—‘almost-commutative’—example. Furthermore, we trace the footprints of noncommutive geometry in the foundations of quantum field theory.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3010024

Authors: Pacôme Delva Jan Geršl

An extensive review of past work on relativistic gravimetry, gradiometry and chronometric geodesy is given. Then, general theoretical tools are presented and applied for the case of a stationary parameterized post-Newtonian metric. The special case of a stationary clock on the surface of the Earth is studied.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3010023

Authors: Igor Smolyaninov

Recent developments in gravitation theory indicate that the classic general relativity is an effective macroscopic theory which will be eventually replaced with a more fundamental theory based on thermodynamics of yet unknown microscopic degrees of freedom. Here we consider thermodynamics of an effective spacetime which may be formed under the influence of an external magnetic field in a cobalt ferrofluid. It appears that the extraordinary photons propagating inside the ferrofluid perceive thermal gradients in the ferrofluid as an effective gravitational field, which obeys the Newton law. Moreover, the effective de Sitter spacetime behaviour near the metric signature transition may mimic various cosmological inflation scenarios, which may be visualized directly using an optical microscope. Thus, some features of the hypothetic microscopic theory of gravity are illustrated in the ferrofluid-based analogue models of inflation.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3010019

Authors: Harold Erbin

In this review we present the most general form of the Janis–Newman algorithm. This extension allows generating configurations which contain all bosonic fields with spin less than or equal to two (real and complex scalar fields, gauge fields, metric field) and with five of the six parameters of the Plebański–Demiański metric (mass, electric charge, magnetic charge, NUT charge and angular momentum). Several examples are included to illustrate the algorithm. We also discuss the extension of the algorithm to other dimensions.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3010022

Authors: Imanol Albarran Mariam Bouhmadi-López João Morais

The ΛCDM paradigm, characterised by a constant equation of state w = − 1 for dark energy, is the model that better fits observations. However, the same observations strongly support the possibility of a dark energy content where the corresponding equation of state is close to but slightly smaller than − 1 . In this regard, we focus on three different models where the dark energy content is described by a perfect fluid with an equation of state w ≲ − 1 which can evolve or not. The three proposals show very similar behaviour at present, while the asymptotic evolution of each model drives the Universe to different abrupt events known as (i) Big Rip; (ii) Little Rip (LR); and (iii) Little Sibling of the Big Rip. With the aim of comparing these models and finding possible imprints in their predicted matter distribution, we compute the matter power spectrum and the growth rate f σ 8 . We conclude that the model which induces a LR seems to be favoured by observations.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3010021

Authors: João Morais Mariam Bouhmadi-López João Marto

The latest cosmological observations by the Planck collaboration (and combined with others) are compatible with a phantom-like behaviour ( w &lt; − 1 ) for the dark energy equation of state that drives the current acceleration of the Universe. With this mindset, we look into models where dark energy is described by a 3-form field minimally coupled to gravity. When compared to a scalar field, these models have the advantage of more naturally accommodating a cosmological-constant and phantom-like behaviours. We show how the latter happens for a fairly general class of positive-valued potentials, and through a dynamical system approach, we find that in such cases the 3-form field leads the Universe into a Little Sibling of the Big Rip singular event into the future. In this work, we explore the possibility of avoiding such singularity via an interaction in the dark sector between cold dark matter and the 3-form field. For the kind of interactions considered, we deduce a condition for replacing the LSBR by a late time de Sitter phase. For specific examples of interactions that meet this condition, we look for distinctive imprints in the statefinder hierarchy { S 3 ( 1 ) ; S 4 ( 1 ) } , { S 3 ( 1 ) ; S 5 ( 1 ) } , and in the growth rate of matter, ϵ ( z ) , through the composite null diagnostic (CND).

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3010018

Authors: Frederick Mayer

The Standard Model of Cosmology (SMC) has evolved in the decades since the 1965 Penzias and Wilson observations of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB). Over this 50-year period, the SMC has become increasingly strange due to a number of questionable assumptions. This paper examines some of these assumptions and compares them to our Baryon Phase-Transition cosmological model.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3010020

Authors: Irina Dymnikova

The Petrov classification of stress-energy tensors provides a model-independent definition of a vacuum by the algebraic structure of its stress-energy tensor and implies the existence of vacua whose symmetry is reduced as compared with the maximally symmetric de Sitter vacuum associated with the Einstein cosmological term. This allows to describe a vacuum in general setting by dynamical vacuum dark fluid, presented by a variable cosmological term with the reduced symmetry which makes vacuum fluid essentially anisotropic and allows it to be evolving and clustering. The relevant solutions to the Einstein equations describe regular cosmological models with time-evolving and spatially inhomogeneous vacuum dark energy, and compact vacuum objects generically related to a dark energy: regular black holes, their remnants and self-gravitating vacuum solitons with de Sitter vacuum interiors—which can be responsible for observational effects typically related to a dark matter. The mass of objects with de Sitter interior is generically related to vacuum dark energy and to breaking of space-time symmetry. In the cosmological context spacetime symmetry provides a mechanism for relaxing cosmological constant to a needed non-zero value.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3010017

Authors: Chris Longden

Recent analyses of cosmic microwave background surveys have revealed hints that there may be a non-trivial running of the running of the spectral index. If future experiments were to conﬁrm these hints, it would prove a powerful discriminator of inﬂationary models, ruling out simple single ﬁeld models. We discuss how isocurvature perturbations in multi-ﬁeld models can be invoked to generate large runnings in a non-standard hierarchy, and ﬁnd that a minimal model capable of practically realising this would be a two-ﬁeld model with a non-canonical kinetic structure. We also consider alternative scenarios such as variable speed-of-light models and canonical quantum gravity effects and their implications for runnings of the spectral index.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3010016

Authors: Michael Heller Jerzy Król

Some important problems of general relativity, such as the quantisation of gravity or classical singularity problems, crucially depend on geometry on very small scales. The so-called synthetic differential geometry—a categorical counterpart of the standard differential geometry—provides a tool to penetrate infinitesimally small portions of space-time. We use this tool to show that on any “infinitesimal neighbourhood” the components of the curvature tensor are themselves infinitesimal, and construct a simplified model in which the curvature singularity disappears, owing to this effect. However, one pays a price for this result. Using topoi as a generalisation of spaces requires a weakening of arithmetic (the existence of infinitesimals) and of logic (to the intuitionistic logic). Is this too high a price to pay for acquiring a new method of solving unsolved problems in physics? Without trying, we shall never know the answer.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3010013

Authors: Sayantan Choudhury Sudhakar Panda Rajeev Singh

In this paper, we have worked on the possibility of setting up an Bell’s inequality violating experiment in the context of primordial cosmology following the fundamental principles of quantum mechanics. To set up this proposal, we have introduced a model-independent theoretical framework using which we have studied the creation of new massive particles for the scalar fluctuations in the presence of an additional time-dependent mass parameter. Next we explicitly computed the one-point and two-point correlation functions from this setup. Then, we comment on the measurement techniques of isospin breaking interactions of newly introduced massive particles and its further prospects. After that, we give an example of the string theory-originated axion monodromy model in this context. Finally, we provide a bound on the heavy particle mass parameter for any arbitrary spin field.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3010014

Authors: Viktor Czinner Hideo Iguchi

We consider the thermodynamic and stability problem of Kerr black holes arising from the nonextensive/nonadditive nature of the Bekenstein–Hawking entropy formula. Nonadditive thermodynamics is often criticized by asserting that the zeroth law cannot be compatible with nonadditive composition rules, so in this work we follow the so-called formal logarithm method to derive an additive entropy function for Kerr black holes also satisfying the zeroth law’s requirement. Starting from the most general, equilibrium compatible, nonadditive entropy composition rule of Abe, we consider the simplest non-parametric approach that is generated by the explicit nonadditive form of the Bekenstein–Hawking formula. This analysis extends our previous results on the Schwarzschild case, and shows that the zeroth law-compatible temperature function in the model is independent of the mass–energy parameter of the black hole. By applying the Poincaré turning point method, we also study the thermodynamic stability problem in the system.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3010015

Authors: Ignatios Antoniadis Spiros Cotsakis

We review results about the development and asymptotic nature of singularities in “brane–bulk” systems. These arise for warped metrics obeying the five-dimensional Einstein equations with fluid-like sources, and including a brane four-metric that is either Minkowski, de Sitter, or Anti-de Sitter. We characterize all singular Minkowski brane solutions, and look for regular solutions with nonzero curvature. We briefly comment on matching solutions, energy conditions, and finite Planck mass criteria for admissibility, and we briefly discuss the connection of these results to ambient theory.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3010011

Authors: Reinoud Slagter

We find an azimuthal-angle dependent approximate wave like solution to second order on a warped five-dimensional manifold with a self-gravitating U(1) scalar gauge field (cosmic string) on the brane using the multiple-scale method. The spectrum of the several orders of approximation show maxima of the energy distribution dependent on the azimuthal-angle and the winding numbers of the subsequent orders of the scalar field. This breakup of the quantized flux quanta does not lead to instability of the asymptotic wavelike solution due to the suppression of the n-dependency in the energy momentum tensor components by the warp factor. This effect is triggered by the contribution of the five dimensional Weyl tensor on the brane. This contribution can be understood as dark energy and can trigger the self-acceleration of the universe without the need of a cosmological constant. There is a striking relation between the symmetry breaking of the Higgs field described by the winding number and the SO(2) breaking of the axially symmetric configuration into a discrete subgroup of rotations of about 180 ∘ . The discrete sequence of non-axially symmetric deviations, cancelled by the emission of gravitational waves in order to restore the SO(2) symmetry, triggers the pressure T z z for discrete values of the azimuthal-angle. There could be a possible relation between the recently discovered angle-preferences of polarization axes of quasars on large scales and our theoretical predicted angle-dependency and this could be evidence for the existence of cosmic strings. Careful comparison of this spectrum of extremal values of the first and second order φ-dependency and the distribution of the alignment of the quasar polarizations is necessary. This can be accomplished when more observational data become available. It turns out that, for late time, the vacuum 5D spacetime is conformally invariant if the warp factor fulfils the equation of a vibrating “drum”, describing standing normal modes of the brane.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3010012

Authors: Thiago Prudêncio Alessio Marrani Diego Cirilo-Lombardo

In a recent paper (Mod. Phys. Lett. A 2015, 30, 1550104), the black-hole/qubit correspondence (BHQC) was exploited to deﬁne “black hole quantum circuits” allowing for a change of the supersymmetry-preserving features of electromagnetic charge conﬁgurations supporting the black hole solution. This resulted in switching from one U-duality orbit to another, or equivalently, from an element of the corresponding Freudenthal triple system with a deﬁnite rank to another one. On the supergravity side of BHQC, such quantum gates are related to particular symplectic transformations acting on the black hole charges; namely, such transformations cannot belong to the U-duality group, otherwise switching among orbits would be impossible. In this paper, we consider a particular class of such symplectic transformations, namely the ones belonging to the so-called Peccei–Quinn symplectic group, introduced some time ago within the study of very special Kähler geometries of the vector multiplets’ scalar manifolds in N = 2 supergravity in D =4 spacetime dimensions.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3010010

Authors: Matthew Aadne Øyvind Grøn

John Nash has proposed a new theory of gravity. We define a Nash-tensor equal to the curvature tensor appearing in the Nash field equations for empty space, and calculate its components for two cases: 1. A static, spherically symmetric space; and 2. The expanding, homogeneous and isotropic space of the Friedmann-Lemaitre-Robertson-Walker (FLRW) universe models. We find the general, exact solution of Nash’s field equations for empty space in the static case. The line element turns out to represent the Schwarzschild-de Sitter spacetime. Also we find the simplest non-trivial solution of the field equations in the cosmological case, which gives the scale factor corresponding to the de Sitter spacetime. Hence empty space in the Nash theory corresponds to a space with Lorentz Invariant Vacuum Energy (LIVE) in the Einstein theory. This suggests that dark energy may be superfluous according to the Nash theory. We also consider a radiation filled universe model in an effort to find out how energy and matter may be incorporated into the Nash theory. A tentative interpretation of the Nash theory as a unified theory of gravity and electromagnetism leads to a very simple form of the field equations in the presence of matter. It should be noted, however, that the Nash theory is still unfinished. A satisfying way of including energy momentum into the theory has yet to be found.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3010009

Authors: Máté Csanád Tamás Csörgő Ze-Fang Jiang Chun-Bin Yang

Results from the Relativistic Heavy Ion Colloder (RHIC) and the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) experiments show that in relativistic heavy ion collisions, a new state of matter, a strongly interacting perfect fluid, is created. Accelerating, exact and explicit solutions of relativistic hydrodynamics allow for a simple and natural description of this medium. A finite rapidity distribution arises from these solutions, leading to an advanced estimate of the initial energy density of high energy collisions. These solutions can be utilized to describe various aspects of proton–proton collisions, as originally suggested by Landau. We show that an advanced estimate based on hydrodynamics yields an initial energy density in s = 7 and 8 TeV proton–proton (p–p) collisions at the LHC on the same order as the critical energy density from lattice Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD). The advanced estimate yields a corresponding initial temperature that is around the critical temperature from QCD and the Hagedorn temperature. The multiplicity dependence of the estimated initial energy density suggests that in high multiplicity p–p collisions at the LHC, there is large enough initial energy density to create a non-hadronic perfect fluid.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3010008

Authors: Nikolaos Kalogeropoulos

We address the reasons why the “Wick-rotated”, positive-definite, space-time metric obeys the Pythagorean theorem. An answer is proposed based on the convexity and smoothness properties of the functional spaces purporting to provide the kinematic framework of approaches to quantum gravity. We employ moduli of convexity and smoothness which are eventually extremized by Hilbert spaces. We point out the potential physical significance that functional analytical dualities play in this framework. Following the spirit of the variational principles employed in classical and quantum Physics, such Hilbert spaces dominate in a generalized functional integral approach. The metric of space-time is induced by the inner product of such Hilbert spaces.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3010007

Authors: Roman Pasechnik Michal Šumbera

In this review, we present an up-to-date phenomenological summary of research developments in the physics of the Quark–Gluon Plasma (QGP). A short historical perspective and theoretical motivation for this rapidly developing field of contemporary particle physics is provided. In addition, we introduce and discuss the role of the quantum chromodynamics (QCD) ground state, non-perturbative and lattice QCD results on the QGP properties, as well as the transport models used to make a connection between theory and experiment. The experimental part presents the selected results on bulk observables, hard and penetrating probes obtained in the ultra-relativistic heavy-ion experiments carried out at the Brookhaven National Laboratory Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (BNL RHIC) and CERN Super Proton Synchrotron (SPS) and Large Hadron Collider (LHC) accelerators. We also give a brief overview of new developments related to the ongoing searches of the QCD critical point and to the collectivity in small (p + p and p + A) systems.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3010005

Authors: Richard Mellinger Fridolin Weber William Spinella Gustavo Contrera Milva Orsaria

In this paper, we use a three flavor non-local Nambu–Jona-Lasinio (NJL) model, an improved effective model of Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD) at low energies, to investigate the existence of deconfined quarks in the cores of neutron stars. Particular emphasis is put on the possible existence of quark matter in the cores of rotating neutron stars (pulsars). In contrast to non-rotating neutron stars, whose particle compositions do not change with time (are frozen in), the type and structure of the matter in the cores of rotating neutron stars depends on the spin frequencies of these stars, which opens up a possible new window on the nature of matter deep in the cores of neutron stars. Our study shows that, depending on mass and rotational frequency, up to around 8% of the mass of a massive neutron star may be in the mixed quark-hadron phase, if the phase transition is treated as a Gibbs transition. We also find that the gravitational mass at which quark deconfinement occurs in rotating neutron stars varies quadratically with spin frequency, which can be fitted by a simple formula.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3010006

Authors: Rodger Thompson

The observed constraints on the variability of the proton to electron mass ratio μ and the fine structure constant α are used to establish constraints on the variability of the Quantum Chromodynamic Scale and a combination of the Higgs Vacuum Expectation Value and the Yukawa couplings. Further model dependent assumptions provide constraints on the Higgs VEV and the Yukawa couplings separately. A primary conclusion is that limits on the variability of dimensionless fundamental constants such as μ and α provide important constraints on the parameter space of new physics and cosmologies.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3010004

Authors: Universe Editorial Office

The editors of Universe would like to express their sincere gratitude to the following reviewers for assessing manuscripts in 2016.[...]

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3010003

Authors: Adam Rogers

Electromagnetic rays travel on curved paths under the influence of gravity. When a dispersive optical medium is included, these trajectories are frequency-dependent. In this work we consider the behaviour of rays when a spherically symmetric, luminous compact object described by the Schwarzschild metric is surrounded by an optically thin shell of plasma supported by radiation pressure. Such levitating atmospheres occupy a position of stable radial equilibrium, where radiative flux and gravitational effects are balanced. Using general relativity and an inhomogeneous plasma we find the existence of a stable circular orbit within the atmospheric shell for low-frequency rays. We explore families of bound orbits that exist between the shell and the compact object, and identify sets of novel periodic orbits. Finally, we examine conditions necessary for the trapping and escape of low-frequency radiation.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3010002

Authors: Jiro Soda Sugumi Kanno Jonathan Shock

We study quantum correlation of a massive scalar field in a maximally entangled state in de Sitter space. We prepare two observers, one in a global chart and the other in an open chart of de Sitter space. We find that the state becomes less entangled as the curvature of the open chart gets larger. In particular, for the cases of a massless and a conformally coupled scalar field, the quantum entanglement vanishes in the limit of infinite curvature. However, we find that the quantum discord never disappears, even in the limit that entanglement disappears.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe3010001

Authors: Yi-Fu Cai Antonino Marcianò Dong-Gang Wang Edward Wilson-Ewing

We review matter bounce scenarios where the matter content is dark matter and dark energy. These cosmologies predict a nearly scale-invariant power spectrum with a slightly red tilt for scalar perturbations and a small tensor-to-scalar ratio. Importantly, these models predict a positive running of the scalar index, contrary to the predictions of the simplest inflationary and ekpyrotic models, and hence, could potentially be falsified by future observations. We also review how bouncing cosmological space-times can arise in theories where either the Einstein equations are modified or where matter fields that violate the null energy condition are included.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe2040034

Authors: Ivan De Martino Carlos Martins Harald Ebeling Dale Kocevski

We have constrained the spatial variation of the fine structure constant using multi-frequency measurements of the thermal Sunyaev-Zeldovich effect of 618 X-ray selected clusters. Although our results are not competitive with the ones from quasar absorption lines, we improved by a factor 10 and ∼2.5 previous results from Cosmic Microwave Background power spectrum and from galaxy clusters, respectively.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe2040032

Authors: Silvio Bonometto Roberto Mainini

In the early Universe, strongly interacting matter was a quark–gluon plasma. Both lattice computations and heavy ion collision experiments, however, tell us that, in the absence of chemical potentials, no plasma survives at T &lt; ∼ 150 MeV. The cosmological Quark–Hadron transition, however, seems to have been a crossover; cosmological consequences envisaged when it was believed to be a phase transition no longer hold. In this paper, we discuss whether even a crossover transition can leave an imprint that cosmological observations can seek or, vice versa, if there are questions cosmology should address to QCD specialists. In particular, we argue that it is still unclear how baryons (not hadrons) could form at the cosmological transition. A critical role should be played by diquark states, whose abundance in the early plasma needs to be accurately evaluated. We estimate that, if the number of quarks belonging to a diquark state, at the beginning of the cosmological transition, is &lt; ∼ 1 : 10 6 , its dynamics could be modified by the process of B-transfer from plasma to hadrons. In turn, by assuming B-transfer to cause just mild perturbations and, in particular, no entropy input, we study the deviations from the tracking regime, in the frame of SCDEW models. We find that, in some cases, residual deviations could propagate down to primeval nuclesynthesis.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe2040031

Authors: Davide Batic Marek Nowakowski Kirk Morgan

We use the Dirac equation in a fixed black hole background and different independent techniques to demonstrate the absence of fermionic bound states around a Schwarzschild black hole. In particular, we show that no embedded eigenvalues exist which has been claimed for the case when the energy is less than the particle’s mass. We explicitly prove that the claims regarding the embedded eigenvalues can be traced back to an oversimplified approximation in the calculation. We conclude that no bound states exist regardless of the value of the mass.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe2040030

Authors: Aurélien Hees Quentin Bailey Adrien Bourgoin Hélène Pihan-Le Bars Christine Guerlin Christophe Le Poncin-Lafitte

Lorentz symmetry is one of the pillars of both General Relativity and the Standard Model of particle physics. Motivated by ideas about quantum gravity, unification theories and violations of CPT symmetry, a significant effort has been put the last decades into testing Lorentz symmetry. This review focuses on Lorentz symmetry tests performed in the gravitational sector. We briefly review the basics of the pure gravitational sector of the Standard-Model Extension (SME) framework, a formalism developed in order to systematically parametrize hypothetical violations of the Lorentz invariance. Furthermore, we discuss the latest constraints obtained within this formalism including analyses of the following measurements: atomic gravimetry, Lunar Laser Ranging, Very Long Baseline Interferometry, planetary ephemerides, Gravity Probe B, binary pulsars, high energy cosmic rays, … In addition, we propose a combined analysis of all these results. We also discuss possible improvements on current analyses and present some sensitivity analyses for future observations.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe2040029

Authors: Lijing Shao

Local Lorentz invariance (LLI) is one of the most important fundamental symmetries in modern physics. While the possibility of LLI violation (LLIv) was studied extensively in flat spacetime, its counterpart in gravitational interaction also deserves significant examination from experiments. In this contribution, I review several recent studies of LLI in post-Newtonian gravity, using powerful tools of pulsar timing. It shows that precision pulsar timing experiments hold a unique position to probe LLIv in post-Newtonian gravity.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe2040028

Authors: Dmitry Antonov

This review addresses the impact on various physical observables which is produced by confinement of virtual quarks and gluons at the level of the one-loop QCD diagrams. These observables include the quark condensate for various heavy flavors, the Yang-Mills running coupling with an infra-red stable fixed point, and the correlation lengths of the stochastic Yang-Mills fields. Other non-perturbative applications of the world-line formalism presented in the review are devoted to the determination of the electroweak phase-transition critical temperature, to the derivation of a semi-classical analogue of the relation between the chiral and the gluon QCD condensates, and to the calculation of the free energy of the gluon plasma in the high-temperature limit. As a complementary result, we demonstrate Casimir scaling of k-string tensions in the Gaussian ensemble of the stochastic Yang-Mills fields.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe2040027

Authors: Pedro Ferreira Diego Pavón

The second law of thermodynamics, in the presence of gravity, is known to hold at small scales, as in the case of black holes and self-gravitating radiation spheres. Using the Friedmann–Lemaître–Robertson–Walker metric and the history of the Hubble factor, we argue that this law also holds at cosmological scales. Based on this, we study the connection between the deceleration parameter and the spatial curvature of the metric, Ω k , and set limits on the latter, valid for any homogeneous and isotropic cosmological model. Likewise, we devise strategies to determine the sign of the spatial curvature index k. Finally, assuming the lambda cold dark matter model is correct, we find that the acceleration of the cosmic expansion is increasing today.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe2040026

Authors: Øyvind Grøn

The “Mitra paradox” refers to the fact that while the de Sitter spacetime appears non-static in a freely falling reference frame, it looks static with reference to a fixed reference frame. The coordinate-independent nature of the paradox may be gauged from the fact that the relevant expansion scalar, θ = 3 Λ , is finite if Λ &gt; 0 . The trivial resolution of the paradox would obviously be to set Λ = 0 . However, here it is assumed that Λ &gt; 0 , and the paradox is resolved by invoking the concept of “expansion of space”. This is a reference-dependent concept, and it is pointed out that the solution of the Mitra paradox is obtained by taking into account the properties of the reference frame in which the coordinates are co-moving.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe2040025

Authors: Oliver Piattella

We analyse the effect of the cosmological expansion on the deflection of light caused by a point mass, adopting the McVittie metric as the geometrical description of a point-like lens embedded in an expanding universe. In the case of a generic, non-constant Hubble parameter, H, we derive and approximately solve the null geodesic equations, finding an expression for the bending angle δ, which we expand in powers of the mass-to-closest approach distance ratio and of the impact parameter-to-lens distance ratio. It turns out that the leading order of the aforementioned expansion is the same as the one calculated for the Schwarzschild metric and that cosmological corrections contribute to δ only at sub-dominant orders. We explicitly calculate these cosmological corrections for the case of the H constant and find that they provide a correction of order 10−11 on the lens mass estimate.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe2040024

Authors: Matthew Lake

We consider the nature of quantum properties in non-relativistic quantum mechanics (QM) and relativistic quantum field theories, and examine the connection between formal quantization schemes and intuitive notions of wave-particle duality. Based on the map between classical Poisson brackets and their associated commutators, such schemes give rise to quantum states obeying canonical dispersion relations, obtained by substituting the de Broglie relations into the relevant (classical) energy-momentum relation. In canonical QM, this yields a dispersion relation involving ℏ but not c, whereas the canonical relativistic dispersion relation involves both. Extending this logic to the canonical quantization of the gravitational field gives rise to loop quantum gravity, and a map between classical variables containing G and c, and associated commutators involving ℏ. This naturally defines a “wave-gravity duality”, suggesting that a quantum wave packet describing self-gravitating matter obeys a dispersion relation involving G, c and ℏ. We propose an Ansatz for this relation, which is valid in the semi-Newtonian regime of both QM and general relativity. In this limit, space and time are absolute, but imposing v max = c allows us to recover the standard expressions for the Compton wavelength λ C and the Schwarzschild radius r S within the same ontological framework. The new dispersion relation is based on “extended” de Broglie relations, which remain valid for slow-moving bodies of any mass m. These reduce to canonical form for m ≪ m P , yielding λ C from the standard uncertainty principle, whereas, for m ≫ m P , we obtain r S as the natural radius of a self-gravitating quantum object. Thus, the extended de Broglie theory naturally gives rise to a unified description of black holes and fundamental particles in the semi-Newtonian regime.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe2040023

Authors: Ivan Debono George Smoot

For the last 100 years, General Relativity (GR) has taken over the gravitational theory mantle held by Newtonian Gravity for the previous 200 years. This article reviews the status of GR in terms of its self-consistency, completeness, and the evidence provided by observations, which have allowed GR to remain the champion of gravitational theories against several other classes of competing theories. We pay particular attention to the role of GR and gravity in cosmology, one of the areas in which one gravity dominates and new phenomena and effects challenge the orthodoxy. We also review other areas where there are likely conflicts pointing to the need to replace or revise GR to represent correctly observations and consistent theoretical framework. Observations have long been key both to the theoretical liveliness and viability of GR. We conclude with a discussion of the likely developments over the next 100 years.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe2030022

Authors: Jorge Cervantes-Cota Salvador Galindo-Uribarri George Smoot

This review describes the discovery of gravitational waves. We recount the journey of predicting and finding those waves, since its beginning in the early twentieth century, their prediction by Einstein in 1916, theoretical and experimental blunders, efforts towards their detection, and finally the subsequent successful discovery.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe2030021

Authors: Giulia Schettino Giacomo Tommei

The relativity experiment is part of the Mercury Orbiter Radio science Experiment (MORE) on-board the ESA/JAXA BepiColombo mission to Mercury. Thanks to very precise radio tracking from the Earth and accelerometer, it will be possible to perform an accurate test of General Relativity, by constraining a number of post-Newtonian and related parameters with an unprecedented level of accuracy. The Celestial Mechanics Group of the University of Pisa developed a new dedicated software, ORBIT14, to perform the simulations and to determine simultaneously all the parameters of interest within a global least squares fit. After highlighting some critical issues, we report on the results of a full set of simulations, carried out in the most up-to-date mission scenario. For each parameter we discuss the achievable accuracy, in terms of a formal analysis through the covariance matrix and, furthermore, by the introduction of an alternative, more representative, estimation of the errors. We show that, for example, an accuracy of some parts in 10 − 6 for the Eddington parameter β and of 10 − 5 for the Nordtvedt parameter η can be attained, while accuracies at the level of 5 × 10 − 7 and 1 × 10 − 7 can be achieved for the preferred frames parameters α 1 and α 2 , respectively.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe2030020

Authors: Øyvind Grøn

I show here that there are some interesting differences between the predictions of warm and cold inflation models focusing in particular upon the scalar spectral index n s and the tensor-to-scalar ratio r. The first thing to be noted is that the warm inflation models in general predict a vanishingly small value of r. Cold inflationary models with the potential V = M 4 ( ϕ / M P ) p and a number of e-folds N = 60 predict δ n s C ≡ 1 − n s ≈ ( p + 2 ) / 120 , where n s is the scalar spectral index, while the corresponding warm inflation models with constant value of the dissipation parameter Γ predict δ n s W = [ ( 20 + p ) / ( 4 + p ) ] / 120 . For example, for p = 2 this gives δ n s W = 1.1 δ n s C . The warm polynomial model with Γ = V seems to be in conflict with the Planck data. However, the warm natural inflation model can be adjusted to be in agreement with the Planck data. It has, however, more adjustable parameters in the expressions for the spectral parameters than the corresponding cold inflation model, and is hence a weaker model with less predictive force. However, it should be noted that the warm inflation models take into account physical processes such as dissipation of inflaton energy to radiation energy, which is neglected in the cold inflationary models.

]]>Universe doi: 10.3390/universe2030019

Authors: José Maluf

We present a brief review of the teleparallel equivalent of general relativity and analyse the expression for the centre of mass density of the gravitational field. This expression has not been sufficiently discussed in the literature. One motivation for the present analysis is the investigation of the localization of dark energy in the three-dimensional space, induced by a cosmological constant in a simple Schwarzschild-de Sitter space-time. We also investigate the gravitational centre of mass density in a particular model of dark matter, in the space-time of a point massive particle and in an arbitrary space-time with axial symmetry. The results are plausible, and lead to the notion of gravitational centre of mass (COM) distribution function.

]]>