Letter | Published:

The impossibility of a bouncing universe

Naturevolume 302pages505506 (1983) | Download Citation

Subjects

Abstract

Petrosian1 has recently discussed the possibility that the restoration of symmetry at grand unification in a closed contracting Robertson–Walker universe could slow down and halt the contraction, causing the universe to bounce. He then went on to discuss the possibility that our universe has undergone a series of such bounces. We disagree with this analysis. One of us (M.S.) has already shown2 that if a contracting universe is dominated by radiation, then a bounce is impossible. We will show here two further results: (1) entropy considerations imply that the quantity S (defined in ref. 1 and below), which must decrease by 1075 to allow the present Universe to bounce, can in fact decrease by no more than a factor of 2; (2) if the true vacuum state has zero energy density, then a universe which is contracting in its low temperature phase can never complete a phase transition soon enough to cause a bounce.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. 1

    Petrosian, V. Nature 298, 805 (1982).

  2. 2

    Sher, M. Phys. Rev. D22, 2989 (1980).

  3. 3

    Weinberg, S. Gravitation and Cosmology (Wiley, New York, 1972).

  4. 4

    Huang, K. Statistical Mechanics Chs 8, 9 (Wiley, New York, 1963).

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Center for Theoretical Physics, Laboratory for Nuclear Science and Department of Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 02139, USA

    • Alan H. Guth
  2. Department of Physics, University of California, Irvine, California, 92717, USA

    • Marc Sher

Authors

  1. Search for Alan H. Guth in:

  2. Search for Marc Sher in:

About this article

Publication history

Received

Accepted

Issue Date

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/302505a0

Further reading

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.