, Volume 14, Issue 6, pp 1525-1550

Maximal Fermi Charts and Geometry of Inflationary Universes

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Abstract

A proof is given that the maximal Fermi coordinate chart for any comoving observer in a broad class of Robertson–Walker spacetimes consists of all events within the cosmological event horizon, if there is one, or is otherwise global. Exact formulas for the metric coefficients in Fermi coordinates are derived. Sharp universal upper bounds for the proper radii of leaves of the foliation by Fermi space slices are found, i.e., for the proper radii of the spatial universe at fixed times of the comoving observer. It is proved that the radius at proper time τ diverges to infinity for non inflationary cosmologies as τ → ∞, but not necessarily for cosmologies with periods of inflation. It is shown that any space like geodesic orthogonal to the worldline of a comoving observer has finite proper length and terminates within the cosmological event horizon (if there is one) at the big bang. Geometric properties of inflationary versus non inflationary cosmologies are compared, and opposite inequalities for the inflationary and non inflationary cases, analogous to Hubble’s law, are obtained for the Fermi relative velocities of comoving test particles. It is proved that the Fermi relative velocities of radially moving test particles are necessarily subluminal for inflationary cosmologies in contrast to non inflationary models, where superluminal relative Fermi velocities necessarily exist.

Communicated by Piotr T. Chrusciel.