Georges Lemaitre introduced the term "phoenix universe" to describe an oscillatory cosmology with alternating periods of gravitational collapse and expansion. This model is ruled out observationally, because it requires a supercritical mass density and cannot accommodate dark energy. However, a new cyclic theory of the universe has been proposed that evades these problems. In a recent elaboration of this picture, almost the entire universe observed today is fated to become entrapped inside black holes, but a tiny region will emerge from these ashes like a phoenix to form an even larger smooth, flat universe filled with galaxies, stars, planets, and, presumably, life. Survival depends crucially on dark energy and suggests a reason why its density is small and positive today.
International Journal of Modern Physics D
- Pub Date:
- High Energy Physics - Theory;
- Astrophysics - Cosmology and Extragalactic Astrophysics;
- General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology
- 5 pages, Honorable Mention at the 2009 Gravity Research Foundation essay competition