In almost all structure formation models, primordial perturbations are created within a homogeneous and isotropic universe, like the one we observe. Because their ensemble averages inherit the symmetries of the spacetime in which they are seeded, cosmological perturbations then happen to be statistically isotropic and homogeneous. Certain anomalies in the cosmic microwave background on the other hand suggest that perturbations do not satisfy these statistical properties, thereby challenging perhaps our understanding of structure formation. In this paper we relax this tension. We show that if the universe contains an appropriate triad of scalar fields with spatially constant but non-zero gradients, it is possible to generate statistically anisotropic and inhomogeneous primordial perturbations, even though the energy-momentum tensor of the triad itself is invariant under translations and rotations.
- Cosmological perturbation theory
- Physics of the early universe
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Astronomy and Astrophysics