General Relativity and Gravitation

, Volume 36, Issue 5, pp 923–948

Brane-World Models Emerging from Collisions of Plane Waves in 5D

  • J. Ponce de Leon

DOI: 10.1023/

Cite this article as:
de Leon, J.P. General Relativity and Gravitation (2004) 36: 923. doi:10.1023/


We consider brane-world models embedded in a five-dimensional bulk spacetime with a large extra dimension and a cosmological constant. The cosmology in 5D possesses “wave-like” character in the sense that the metric coefficients in the bulk are assumed to have the form of plane waves propagating in the fifth dimension. We model the brane as the “plane” of collision of waves propagating in opposite directions along the extra dimension. This plane is a jump discontinuity which presents the usual Z2 symmetry of brane models. The model reproduces the generalized Friedmann equation for the evolution on the brane, regardless of the specific details in 5D. Model solutions with spacelike extra coordinate show the usual big-bang behavior, while those with timelike extra dimension present a big bounce. This bounce is an genuine effect of a timelike extra dimension. We argue that, based on our current knowledge, models having a large timelike extra dimension cannot be dismissed as mathematical curiosities in non-physical solutions. The size of the extra dimension is small today, but it is increasing if the universe is expanding with acceleration. Also, the expansion rate of the fifth dimension can be expressed in a simple way through the four-dimensional “deceleration” and Hubble parameters as − q H. These predictions could have important observational implications, notably for the time variation of rest mass, electric charge and the gravitational “constant.” They hold for the three (k = 0, + 1, − 1) models with arbitrary cosmological constant, and are independent of the signature of the extra dimension.

Kaluza-Klein theory general relativity 

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Ponce de Leon
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Theoretical Physics, Department of PhysicsUniversity of Puerto RicoSan JuanPuerto Rico

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