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Centro de Astrofísica da Universidade do Porto

Topological defects: A problem for cyclic universes?

P. P. Avelino, C. J. A. P. Martins, C. Santos, E. P. S. Shellard

We study the behavior of cosmic string networks in contracting universes, and discuss some of their possible consequences. We note that there is a fundamental time asymmetry between defect network evolution for an expanding universe and a contracting universe. A string network with negligible loop production and small-scale structure will asymptotically behave during the collapse phase as a radiation fluid. In realistic networks these two effects are important, making this solution only approximate. We derive new scaling solutions describing this effect, and test them against high-resolution numerical simulations. A string network in a contracting universe, together with the gravitational radiation background it has generated, can significantly affect the dynamics of the universe both locally and globally. The network can be an important source of radiation, entropy and inhomogeneity. We discuss the possible implications of these findings for bouncing and cyclic cosmological models.

Physical Review D
Volume 68, Page 123502_1
December 2003

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Institute of Astrophysics and Space Sciences

Institute of Astrophysics and Space Sciences (IA) is a new but long anticipated research infrastructure with a national dimension. It embodies a bold but feasible vision for the development of Astronomy, Astrophysics and Space Sciences in Portugal, taking full advantage and fully realizing the potential created by the national membership of the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Southern Observatory (ESO). IA resulted from the merging the two most prominent research units in the field in Portugal: the Centre for Astrophysics of the University of Porto (CAUP) and the Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics of the University of Lisbon (CAAUL). It currently hosts more than two-thirds of all active researchers working in Space Sciences in Portugal, and is responsible for an even greater fraction of the national productivity in international ISI journals in the area of Space Sciences. This is the scientific area with the highest relative impact factor (1.65 times above the international average) and the field with the highest average number of citations per article for Portugal.

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