Article

Communications in Mathematical Physics

, Volume 38, Issue 2, pp 119-156

Was the big bang a whimper?

  • G. F. R. EllisAffiliated withPhysics Department, Boston UniversityDepartment of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, Cambridge University
  • , A. R. KingAffiliated withDepartment of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, Cambridge University

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Abstract

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.