We study the properties of cosmological density perturbations in a multi-component system consisting of a scalar field and a perfect fluid. We discuss the number of degrees of freedom completely describing the system, introduce a full set of dynamical gauge-invariant equations in terms of the curvature and entropy perturbations, and display an efficient formulation of these equations as a first-order system linked by a fairly sparse matrix. Our formalism includes spatial gradients, extending previous formulations restricted to the large-scale limit, and fully accounts for the evolution of an isocurvature mode intrinsic to the scalar field. We then address the issue of the adiabatic condition, in particular demonstrating its preservation on large scales. Finally, we apply our formalism to the quintessence scenario and clearly underline the importance of initial conditions when considering late-time perturbations. In particular, we show that entropy perturbations can still be present when the quintessence field energy density becomes non-negligible.
Physical Review D
- Pub Date:
- August 2004
- Particle-theory and field-theory models of the early Universe;
- General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology;
- High Energy Physics - Phenomenology
- RevTex4, 9 pages, 3 figures. Significant additions on the quintessence scenario (new appendix and additional numerical example). Conclusions unchanged, but more robust