Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts
I address a variety of problems in contemporary cosmology, both with the models and theories that compose it—such as the Hubble Tension and General Relativity—as well as the methods used to perform it—like Numerical Relativity and the Well-Posedness problem. Through these issues, we will come to understand that nonlinear physics, though complex, difficult to understand / work with, and overlooked by the majority of physicists, is a crucial component of the dynamics of our Universe. The way the world works is often not the same as the way that physics works. Physics describes the arc that a baseball follows by describing the forces acting on it, or its change in energy, and deriving a mathematical description of its path. The ball, however, just flies. Sometimes we are tempted to see these mathematical descriptions as the ‘way’ the world is, because those descriptions are what is necessary to solve the problem at hand. As the Universe expands or moves or evolves, it can do so in complex and convoluted ways which are not reducible to palatable equations of motion. In these situations, it is necessary to investigate the complicated, nonlinear motion, and describing it mathematically becomes all that we can do for now. We must thoroughly investigate claims made about the effects of non-linearity as these dynamics are unpredictable and yet nontrivial. We conclude that we must do the problem, no matter how difficult, to claim its outcome.
Gerhardinger, Mary, "Numerical Simulations of Nonlinear Physics in the Universe" (2022). Honors Theses. 283.
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