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Phase transitions in the Universe

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During the past two decades, cosmologists turned to particle physics in order to explore the physics of the very early Universe. The main link between the physics of the smallest and largest structures in the Universe is the idea of spontaneous symmetry breaking, familiar from condensed matter physics. Implementing this mechanism into cosmology leads to the interesting possibility that phase transitions related to the breaking of symmetries in high energy particle physics took place during the early history of the Universe. These cosmological phase transitions may help us understand many of the challenges faced by the standard hot Big Bang model of cosmology, while offering a unique window into the very early Universe and the physics of high energy particle interactions.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: July 1, 1998

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