BACK-REACTION IN RELATIVISTIC COSMOLOGY
International Journal of Modern Physics D: Gravitation, Astrophysics and Cosmology
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We introduce the concept of back-reaction in relativistic cosmological modeling. Roughly speaking, this can be thought of as the difference between the large-scale behavior of an inhomogeneous cosmological solution of Einstein’s equations, and a homogeneous and isotropic solution that is a best-fit to either the average of observables or dynamics in the inhomogeneous solution. This is sometimes paraphrased as “the effect that structure has of the large-scale evolution of the universe.” Various different approaches have been taken in the literature in order to try and understand back-reaction in cosmology. We provide a brief and critical summary of some of them, highlighting recent progress that has been made in each case.