AAS 198th Meeting, June 2001
Session 21. Cosmology and Dark Matter
Oral, Monday, June 4, 2001, 10:00-11:30am, C105

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[21.06] Cosmic Quintessence and Primordial Nucleosynthesis

G. Mathews (University of Notre Dame), Y. Yahiro (University of the Ryukyus), I. Ichiki, T. Kajino, M. Orito (National Astronomical Observatory, Japan)

Recently attempts have been made to understand the apparent near coincidence of the present vacuum energy and matter energy in terms of a dynamical attractor-like solution for the evolution of a ``quintessence" scalar field. In these models the field couples with the dominant constituent and only acts like a cosmological constant after the onset of the matter dominated epoch. A generic feature of such solutions, however, is the possibility of significant energy density in the scalar field during the radiation dominated epoch. As such, these models can affect, and therefore be constrained by, primordial nucleosynthesis and the epoch of photon decoupling. Here we analyze one popular form for the quintessence field and quantify constraints on the allowed initial conditions and parameters for the effective potential.

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

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