AAS 198th Meeting, June 2001
Session 6. The Early Universe
Display, Monday, June 4, 2001, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall

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[6.05] Clustering Properties of a Coherent Oscillating Scalar Field

L. Boyle (Caltech), R.R. Caldwell (Dartmouth), M. Kamionkowski (Caltech)

We consider the classical evolution of a coherent oscillating scalar field in a homogeneous and isotropic background cosmology. For a scalar potential V(\phi) = \lambda\phin we study the evolution of field perturbations and analyze their clustering properties for the two cases that the scalar field makes either (i) the dominant contribution or (ii) a subdominant contribution to the total energy density of the universe. A coherent oscillating scalar field is of cosmological interest since it can have an effective equation of state that is sufficiently negative to drive the observed acceleration of the universe, thus acting as a form of quintessence. Furthermore, since its clustering behavior differs from that of ordinary matter, it may be able to serve as a dark matter component with novel properties, including its effect on structure formation as a function of redshift.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: latham@caltech.edu

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