Document Type

Article

Publication Date

3-22-2013

Publication Title

Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation, and Cosmology

Abstract

The trace of the stress-energy tensor of the cosmological fluid, proportional to the Ricci scalar curvature in general relativity, is determined on cosmic scales for times ranging from the inflationary epoch to the present day in the expanding Universe. The post-inflationary epoch and the thermal history of the relativistic fluid, in particular the QCD transition from asymptotic freedom to confinement and the electroweak phase transition, leave significant imprints on the scalar curvature. These imprints can be of either sign and are orders of magnitude larger than the values that would be obtained by naively extrapolating the pressureless matter of the present epoch back into the radiation-dominated epoch.

DOI

10.1103/PhysRevD.87.063523

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