Einstein's Universe: Cosmological structure formation in numerical relativity

Hayley J. Macpherson, Daniel J. Price, Paul D. Lasky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


We perform large-scale cosmological simulations that solve Einstein's equations directly via numerical relativity. Starting with initial conditions sampled from the cosmic microwave background, we track the emergence of a cosmic web without the need for a background cosmology. We measure the backreaction of large-scale structure on the evolution of averaged quantities in a matter-dominated universe. Although our results are preliminary, we find the global backreaction energy density is of order 10-8 compared to the energy density of matter in our simulations, and is thus unlikely to explain accelerating expansion under our assumptions. Sampling scales above the homogeneity scale of the Universe (100-180 h-1 Mpc), in our chosen gauge, we find 2-3% variations in local spatial curvature.

Original languageEnglish
Article number063522
Number of pages18
JournalPhysical Review D
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2019


  • universe
  • luminosity distance
  • models

Cite this