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Centro de Astrofísica da Universidade do Porto

Can we predict the fate of the Universe?

P. P. Avelino, J. P. M. de Carvalho, C. J. A. P. Martins

We re-analyze the question of the use of cosmological observations to infer the present state and future evolution of our patch of the universe. In particular, we discuss under which conditions one might be able to infer that our patch will enter an inflationary stage, as a prima facie interpretation of the type Ia supernovae and CMB data would suggest. We then establish a ‘physical’ criterion for the existence of inflation, to be contrasted with the more ‘mathematical’ one recently proposed by Starkman et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 83 (1999) 1510.

Physics Letters B
Volume 501, Page 257
March 2001

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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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