International Journal of Theoretical Physics

, Volume 28, Issue 9, pp 927–933 | Cite as

Thermodynamics and cosmology

  • I. Prigogine


A new type of cosmological history which includes large-scale entropy production is proposed. These cosmologies are based on a reinterpretation of the matterenergy stress tensor in Einstein's equations. This modifies the usual adiabatic energy conservation laws, thereby leading to a possible irreversible matter creation. This creation corresponds to an irreversible energy flow from the gravitational field to the created matter constituents. This new point of view results from the consideration of thermodynamics of open systems in the framework of cosmology. It appears that the usual initial singularity is structurally unstable with respect to irreversible matter creation. The corresponding cosmological history therefore starts from an instability of the vacuum rather than from a singularity. The universe evolves through an inflationary phase. This appears to be an attractor independent of the initial vacuum fluctuation.


Entropy Open System Quantum Field Theory Stress Tensor Energy Conservation 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • I. Prigogine
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Center for Studies in Statistical MechanicsUniversity of TexasAustin
  2. 2.Free University of BrusselsBelgium

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