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Department of Mathematics & Statistics

Upcoming seminars in Mathematics

Research seminars
Seminars in Statistics
Taming the beast of the cosmological big bang singularity: Dynamics and degrees of freedom

Florian Beyer

Mathematics and Statistics, University of Otago

Date: Tuesday 28 May 2019
Time: 11:00 a.m.
Place: Room241, 2nd floor, Science III building

The history of the universe, in particular its very beginning at the ``big bang'', is one of the great unsolved mysteries in science. It is modelled mathematically by solutions of Einstein's equations, the complex equations of general relativity first envisioned by Albert Einstein in 1915. Despite recent successes to prove certain stability results for the singular dynamics, there are many open issues whose resolutions would require a much stronger control of the asymptotics than so far possible with rigorous PDE techniques. One of these outstanding problems is to understand the relationship between asymptotics and degrees of freedom for singular hyperbolic PDE systems. To address this we have recently introduced a rigorous matching technique which can yield a topological characterisation of how the degrees of freedom are encoded in the asymptotics. In the particular case of Einstein's equations, this could eventually answer fundamental questions: What are the general degrees of freedom to ``create a universe''? How large were the chances for our universe to turn out exactly the way it has?