Stasis in an Expanding Universe: A Recipe for Stable Mixed-Component Cosmological Eras

Fei Huang
Weizzmann Institute
Tuesday, April 4, 2023
2:00 pm
NS2 1201


One signature of an expanding universe is the time-variation of the cosmological abundances of its different components. For example, a radiation-dominated universe inevitably gives way to a matter-dominated universe, and critical moments such as matter-radiation equality are fleeting. In this talk, we point out that this lore is not always correct, and that it is possible to obtain a form of “stasis” in which the relative cosmological abundances \Omega_i of the different components remain unchanged over extended cosmological epochs, even as the universe expands. Moreover, we demonstrate that such situations are not fine-tuned, but are actually global attractors within certain cosmological frameworks, with the universe naturally evolving towards such long-lasting periods of stasis for a wide variety of initial conditions. The existence of this kind of stasis therefore gives rise to a host of new theoretical possibilities across the entire cosmological timeline, such as implications for the cosmic expansion history, inflationary observables, gravitational waves, dark radiation and dark-matter production.

Yuri Shirman