domingo, 11 de marzo de 2012

Vacuum Structure and the Arrow of Time

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Vacuum Structure and the Arrow of Time
Bousso, Raphael
eprint arXiv:1112.3341
Publication Date:
High Energy Physics - Theory, Astrophysics - Cosmology and Extragalactic Astrophysics, General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology, High Energy Physics - Phenomenology
31 pages JHEP format, 3 figures
Bibliographic Code:


We find ourselves in an extended era of entropy production. Unlike most other observations, the arrow of time is usually regarded as a constraint on initial conditions. I argue, however, that it primarily constrains the vacuum structure of the theory. I exhibit simple scalar field potentials in which low-entropy initial conditions are not necessary, or not sufficient, for an arrow of time to arise. I argue that the string theory landscape gives rise to an arrow of time independently of the initial entropy, assuming a plausible condition on the lifetime of its metastable vacua. In particular, a theory of initial conditions that favors large initial entropy, such as the Hartle-Hawking proposal, is not ruled out by observation. The dynamical resolution of the arrow of time problem arises from the same structural properties of the string landscape that allow it to solve the cosmological constant problem without producing an empty universe, particularly its high dimensionality and the large difference in vacuum energy between neighboring vacua.
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