Cosmological perturbations in elastic dark energy models

Richard A. Battye, Adam Moss

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    We discuss the general framework for a perfect continuum medium in cosmology and show that an interesting generalization of the fluids normally used is for the medium to have rigidity and, hence, be analogous to an elastic solid. Such models can provide perfect, adiabatic fluids which are stable even when the pressure is negative, if the rigidity is sufficiently large, making them natural candidates to describe the dark energy. In fact, if the medium is adiabatic and isotropic, they provide the most general description of linearized perturbations. We derive the equations of motion and wave propagation speeds in the isotropic case. We point out that anisotropic models can also be incorporated within the same formalism and that they are classified by the standard Bravais lattices. We identify the adiabatic and isocurvature modes allowed in both the scalar and vector sectors and discuss the predictions they make for cosmic microwave background and matter power spectra. We comment on the relationship between these models and other fluid-based approaches to dark energy, and discuss a possible microphysical manifestation of this class of models as a continuum description of defect-dominated scenarios. © 2007 The American Physical Society.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number023005
    JournalPhysical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2007


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