Journal Article

Cosmological magnetic field survival

John D. Barrow and Christos G. Tsagas

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 414, issue 1, pages 512-518
Published in print June 2011 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online June 2011 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2011.18414.x
Cosmological magnetic field survival

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It is widely believed that primordial magnetic fields are dramatically diluted by the expansion of the Universe. As a result, cosmological magnetic fields with residual strengths of astrophysical relevance are generally sought by going outside standard cosmology or by extending conventional electromagnetic theory. Nevertheless, the survival of strong B-fields of primordial origin is possible in spatially open Friedmann universes without changing conventional electromagnetism. The reason is the hyperbolic geometry of these space–times, which slows down the adiabatic magnetic decay rate and leads to their superadiabatic amplification on large scales. So far, the effect has been found to operate on Friedmannian backgrounds containing either radiation or a slow-rolling scalar field. We show here that the superadiabatic amplification of large-scale magnetic fields, generated by quantum fluctuations during inflation, is essentially independent of the type of matter that fills the universe and appears to be a generic feature of open Friedmann space–times. We estimate the late-time strength of any residual field in a marginally open universe and show that it can easily meet the requirements for the dynamo generation of the magnetic fields observed in galaxies today.

Keywords: magnetic fields; cosmology: theory

Journal Article.  6222 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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