Pre-big bang bubbles from the gravitational instability of generic string vacua

A. Buonanno, T. Damour, G. Veneziano

Submitted on 29 June 1998


We formulate the basic postulate of pre-big bang cosmology as one of ``asymptotic past triviality'', by which we mean that the initial state is a generic perturbative solution of the tree-level low-energy effective action. Such a past-trivial ``string vacuum'' is made of an arbitrary ensemble of incoming gravitational and dilatonic waves, and is generically prone to gravitational instability, leading to the possible formation of many black holes hiding singular space-like hypersurfaces. Each such singular space-like hypersurface of gravitational collapse becomes, in the string-frame metric, the usual big-bang t=0 hypersurface, i.e. the place of birth of a baby Friedmann universe after a period of dilaton-driven inflation. Specializing to the spherically-symmetric case, we review and reinterpret previous work on the subject, and propose a simple, scale-invariant criterion for collapse/inflation in terms of asymptotic data at past null infinity. Those data should determine whether, when, and where collapse/inflation occurs, and, when it does, fix its characteristics, including anisotropies on the big bang hypersurface whose imprint could have survived till now. Using Bayesian probability concepts, we finally attempt to answer some fine-tuning objections recently moved to the pre-big bang scenario.


Comment: 58 pages, RevTex, epsfig, 5 figures

Subjects: High Energy Physics - Theory; Astrophysics; General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology