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Physics  2004 

Cosmic Topology: a Brief Overview

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Questions such as whether we live in a spatially finite universe, and what its shape and size may be, are among the fundamental open problems that high precision modern cosmology needs to resolve. These questions go beyond the scope of general relativity (GR), since as a (local) metrical theory GR leaves the global topology of the universe undetermined. Despite our present-day inability to predict the topology of the universe, given the wealth of increasingly accurate astro-cosmological observations it is expected that we should be able to detect it. An overview of basic features of cosmic topology, the main methods for its detection, and observational constraints on detectability are briefly presented. Recent theoretical and observational results related to cosmic topology are also discussed.


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