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Out of equilibrium: understanding cosmological evolution to lower-entropy states

Aguirre, Anthony and Carroll, Sean M. and Johnson, Matthew C. (2012) Out of equilibrium: understanding cosmological evolution to lower-entropy states. Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics, 2012 (2). Art. No. 024. ISSN 1475-7516. doi:10.1088/1475-7516/2012/02/024.

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Despite the importance of the Second Law of Thermodynamics, it is not absolute. Statistical mechanics implies that, given sufficient time, systems near equilibrium will spontaneously fluctuate into lower-entropy states, locally reversing the thermodynamic arrow of time. We study the time development of such fluctuations, especially the very large fluctuations relevant to cosmology. Under fairly general assumptions, the most likely history of a fluctuation out of equilibrium is simply the CPT conjugate of the most likely way a system relaxes back to equilibrium. We use this idea to elucidate the spacetime structure of various fluctuations in (stable and metastable) de Sitter space and thermal anti-de Sitter space.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Carroll, Sean M.0000-0002-4226-5758
Johnson, Matthew C.0000-0002-5099-8185
Additional Information:© 2012 IOP Publishing Ltd and SISSA. Received October 31, 2011; Accepted January 20, 2012; Published February 17, 2012. We thank T. Banks, R. Bousso, A. Brown, J. Deutsch, and C. Shalizi for useful comments. Supported in part by the U.S. Department of Energy and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, NSF grant PHY-0757912, and a "Foundational Questions in Physics and Cosmology" grant from the John Templeton Foundation. Research at Perimeter Institute is supported by the Government of Canada through Industry Canada and by the Province of Ontario through the Ministry of Research and Innovation.
Group:Caltech Theory, Moore Center for Theoretical Cosmology and Physics
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Department of Energy (DOE)UNSPECIFIED
Gordon and Betty Moore FoundationUNSPECIFIED
John Templeton FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Government of CanadaUNSPECIFIED
Province of Ontario Ministry of Research and InnovationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:physics of the early universe; inflation
Issue or Number:2
Classification Code:PACS: 98.80.Cq; 04.70.Dy; 95.30.Cq; 95.30.Tg; 11.30.Er
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20120516-092014134
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Official Citation:Out of equilibrium: understanding cosmological evolution to lower-entropy states Anthony Aguirre et al JCAP02(2012)024
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:31499
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:16 May 2012 19:29
Last Modified:12 Jul 2022 17:39

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