13-18 December 2015
International Conference Centre Geneva
Europe/Zurich timezone

Simulating the start of inflation from inhomogeneous initial conditions

17 Dec 2015, 16:35
Level 2, Room 14 (International Conference Centre Geneva)

Level 2, Room 14

International Conference Centre Geneva

17 Rue de Varembé, 1211 Geneva


Dr William East (Stanford University)


A period of exponential expansion early in our cosmic history is usually invoked to explain the large scale homogeneity and isotropy of the Universe. However, there remain important questions about the conditions under which inflation can actually start when homogeneity is not assumed to begin with it. In this talk, I will present results from fully general-relativistic simulations used to understand the circumstances under which a period of exponential expansion can eventually arise from initial conditions where the gradient and kinetic energy of the putative inflaton dominates over the potential energy. This allows us to study what happens in a number of different cases, both when using different inflaton potentials, as well as when considering a range of different scales for the inhomogeneities. In particular, we study the regime where the length scale of the inhomogeneities is comparable to the average Hubble radius, and where the gravitational pull of the over-densities is strong enough to form black holes.

Primary author

Dr William East (Stanford University)


Andrei Linde (Stanford University) Leonardo Senatore (Stanford University) Matthew Kleban (New York University)

Presentation Materials