Einstein’s exploration of a steady-state model of the universe

O'Raifeartaigh, Cormac and McCann, Brendan and Nahm, Werner and Mitton, Simon (2014) Einstein’s exploration of a steady-state model of the universe. The European Physical Journal H, 39 (3). pp. 353-367. ISSN 2102-6459

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Official URL: http://doi.org/10.1140/epjh/e2014-50011-x


We present a translation and analysis of an unpublished manuscript by Albert Einstein in which he explored a 'steady-state' model of the universe. The manuscript, which appears to have been written in early 1931, demonstrates that Einstein once considered an expanding cosmos in which the mean density of matter is maintained constant by a continuous formation of matter from empty space. This model is very different to previously known Einsteinian models of the cosmos (both static and dynamic) but anticipates the later steady-state cosmology of Hoyle, Bondi and Gold in some ways. We find that Einstein’s steady-state model contained a fundamental flaw and suggest that it was discarded for this reason. We also suggest that he declined to try again because he realised that a successful steady-state model would require an amendment to the field equations. The abandoned model is of historical significance because it reveals that Einstein debated between steady-state and evolving models of the cosmos decades before a similar debate took place in the cosmological community.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: School of Theoretical Physics > Preprints
Date Deposited: 05 Oct 2017 19:31
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2018 10:33
URI: http://dair.dias.ie/id/eprint/315

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