Communications in Mathematical Physics

, Volume 38, Issue 2, pp 119–156

Was the big bang a whimper?

  • G. F. R. Ellis
  • A. R. King

DOI: 10.1007/BF01651508

Cite this article as:
Ellis, G.F.R. & King, A.R. Commun.Math. Phys. (1974) 38: 119. doi:10.1007/BF01651508


In many cases the spatially homogeneous cosmological models of General Relativity begin or end at a “big bang” where the density and temperature of the matter in the universe diverge. However in certain cases the spatially homogeneous development of these universes terminates at a singularity where all physical quantities are well—behaved (a “whimper”) and an associated Cauchy horizon. We examine the existence and nature of these singularities, and the possible fate of matter which crosses the Cauchy horizon in such a universe. The nature of both kinds of singularity is illustrated by simple models based on two-dimensional Minkowski space-time; and the possibility of other types of singularity occuring is considered.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. F. R. Ellis
    • 1
    • 2
  • A. R. King
    • 4
  1. 1.Physics DepartmentBoston UniversityBostonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical PhysicsCambridge UniversityCambridgeUK
  3. 3.Department of Applied MathematicsUniversity of Cape TownCape TownSouth Africa
  4. 4.Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical PhysicsCambridge UniversityCambridgeUK