# Cosmology Lecture 9 | Summary and Q&A

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March 19, 2013
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Stanford
Cosmology Lecture 9

## Summary

This video discusses the concept of a scalar field in the context of an expanding universe. The speaker explains how the field energy and potential energy are related and uses the analogy of a stone falling to describe the motion of the field. The equations of motion for the field and for the expansion of the universe are derived and it is shown how the field can affect the expansion. The idea of inflation is introduced as a possible explanation for the lack of magnetic monopoles and the homogeneity of the early universe.

#### Q: What is the potential energy associated with a scalar field?

The potential energy is the energy stored in the scalar field due to its value. It depends on the value of the field and is similar to the potential energy in electric or magnetic fields.

### Q: How does the potential energy of a scalar field relate to its energy density?

The potential energy of a scalar field can be thought of as the energy density stored in space per unit volume. It represents the energy stored in the scalar field due to its value.

### Q: How does the potential energy of a scalar field affect the motion of the field?

The potential energy of a scalar field determines the force acting on the field. It is the derivative of the potential energy with respect to the field itself, and it causes the field to accelerate towards lower potential energy.

### Q: What role does phi double dot play in the equation of motion for a scalar field?

Phi double dot represents the second time derivative of the field, which is a kind of acceleration. In the equation of motion for a scalar field, phi double dot appears as the time derivative of the derivative of the Lagrangian with respect to the velocity of the field.

### Q: How does the expansion of the universe affect the equation of motion for a scalar field?

The expansion of the universe introduces a new term in the equation of motion for a scalar field, which can be thought of as a viscous force. This term depends on the velocity of the field and the rate of expansion of the universe.

### Q: What is the interpretation of the viscous term in the equation of motion for a scalar field?

The viscous term in the equation of motion for a scalar field can be thought of as a force that opposes the motion of the field. It acts in the direction opposite to the velocity of the field and is proportional to the rate of expansion of the universe.

### Q: How does the viscous term in the equation of motion for a scalar field relate to viscosity in other systems?

The viscous term in the equation of motion for a scalar field behaves like viscosity in other systems. It introduces a damping effect that opposes the motion of the field and is proportional to the velocity of the field.

### Q: What is the equation of motion for a scalar field in an expanding universe?

The equation of motion for a scalar field in an expanding universe is given by phi double dot plus 3h phi dot equals minus the derivative of the potential energy with respect to the field. This equation describes the acceleration and motion of the scalar field in response to the potential energy.

### Q: How does the expansion of the universe affect the equation of motion for a scalar field?

The expansion of the universe introduces a viscous term in the equation of motion for a scalar field. This term is proportional to the rate of expansion of the universe and acts as a damping force that opposes the motion of the field.

### Q: What is the significance of the potential energy in the equation of motion for a scalar field?

The potential energy in the equation of motion for a scalar field represents the energy stored in the field due to its value. It determines the force acting on the field and affects its motion in response to external forces and the expansion of the universe.

### Q: How does the expansion of the universe affect the equation of motion for a scalar field?

The expansion of the universe introduces a new term in the equation of motion for a scalar field, which can be thought of as a viscous force. This term depends on the velocity of the field and the rate of expansion of the universe.

## Takeaways

The video discusses the concept of a scalar field in the context of an expanding universe. The equation of motion for a scalar field is derived, and it is shown how the field can be affected by external forces and the expansion of the universe. The potential energy of the scalar field plays a crucial role in the motion of the field, determining the force acting on it. The expansion of the universe introduces a viscous term in the equation of motion, which can be thought of as a damping force. This concept of a scalar field and its motion in an expanding universe is also linked to the idea of inflation, which could explain the lack of magnetic monopoles and the homogeneity of the early universe.