University of Minnesota
School of Physics & Astronomy

Physics and Astronomy Calendar

Friday, November 7th 2014
Speaker: Florian Niedermann (Munich U.)
Subject: The Universe as a Cosmic String

We are investigating modifications of general relativity that are operative at the largest observable scales. In this context, we are investigating the model of brane induced gravity in 6D, a higher dimensional generalization of the DGP model. As opposed to different claims in the literature, we have proven the quantum stability of the theory on a linear level. In particular, we have shown that the Hamiltonian of the linear theory is bounded from below. This result opened a new window of opportunity for consistent modified Friedmann cosmologies. In our recent work it is shown that a brane with FRW symmetries necessarily acts as a source of cylindrically symmetric gravitational waves, so called Einstein-Rosen waves. Their existence essentially distinguishes this model from its codimension-one counterpart and necessitates to solve the non-linear system of bulk and brane-matching equations. A numerical analysis is performed and two qualitatively different and dynamically separated classes of cosmologies are derived: degravitating solutions for which the Hubble parameter settles to zero despite the presence of a non-vanishing energy density on the brane and super-accelerating solutions for which Hubble grows unbounded. The parameter space of both the stable and unstable regime is derived and observational consequences are discussed: It is argued that the degravitating regime does not allow for a phenomenologically viable cosmology. On the other hand, the super-accelerating solutions are potentially viable, however, their unstable behavior questions their physical relevance.

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