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We use holography to study the dynamics of a strongly-coupled gauge theory in four-dimensional de Sitter space with Hubble rate H. The gauge theory is non-conformal with a characteristic mass scale M. We solve Einstein’s equations numerically and determine the time evolution of homogeneous gauge theory states. If their initial energy density is high compared with H4 then the early-time evolution is well described by viscous hydrodynamics with a non-zero bulk viscosity. At late times the dynamics is always far from equilibrium. The asymptotic late-time state preserves the full de Sitter symmetry group and its dual geometry is a domain-wall in AdS5. The approach to this state is characterised by an emergent relation of the form P = w ℰ that is different from the equilibrium equation of state in flat space. The constant w does not depend on the initial conditions but only on H/M and is negative if the ratio H/M is close to unity. The event and the apparent horizons of the late-time solution do not coincide with one another, reflecting its non-equilibrium nature. In between them lies an “entanglement horizon” that cannot be penetrated by extremal surfaces anchored at the boundary, which we use to compute the entanglement entropy of boundary regions. If the entangling region equals the observable universe then the extremal surface coincides with a bulk cosmological horizon that just touches the event horizon, while for larger regions the extremal surface probes behind the event horizon.

We use holography to study the dynamics of a strongly-coupled gauge theory in four-dimensional de Sitter space with Hubble rate H. The gauge theory is non-conformal with a characteristic mass scale M. We solve Einstein’s equations numerically and determine the time evolution of homogeneous gauge theory states. If their initial energy density is high compared with H4 then the early-time evolution is well described by viscous hydrodynamics with a non-zero bulk viscosity. At late times the dynamics is always far from equilibrium. The asymptotic late-time state preserves the full de Sitter symmetry group and its dual geometry is a domain-wall in AdS5. The approach to this state is characterised by an emergent relation of the form P = w E that is different from the equilibrium equation of state in flat space. The constant w does not depend on the initial conditions but only on H/M and is negative if the ratio H/M is close to unity. The event and the apparent horizons of the late-time solution do not coincide with one another, reflecting its non-equilibrium nature. In between them lies an “entanglement horizon” that cannot be penetrated by extremal surfaces anchored at the boundary, which we use to compute the entanglement entropy of boundary regions. If the entangling region equals the observable universe then the extremal surface coincides with a bulk cosmological horizon that just touches the event horizon, while for larger regions the extremal surface probes behind the event horizon.

Holography has provided valuable insights into the time evolution of strongly coupled gauge theories in a fixed spacetime. However, this framework is insufficient if this spacetime is dynamical. We present a scheme to evolve a four-dimensional, strongly interacting gauge theory coupled to four-dimensional dynamical gravity in the semiclassical regime. As in previous work, we use holography to evolve the quantum gauge theory stress tensor, whereas the four-dimensional metric evolves according to Einstein’s equations coupled to the expectation value of the stress tensor. The novelty of our approach is that both the boundary and the bulk spacetimes are constructed dynamically, one time step at a time. We focus on Friedmann-Lemaître-Robertson-Walker geometries and evolve far-from-equilibrium initial states that lead to asymptotically expanding, flat or collapsing Universes.

Holography has provided valuable insights into the time evolution of strongly coupled gauge theories in a fixed spacetime. However, this framework is insufficient if this spacetime is dynamical. We present a scheme to evolve a four-dimensional, strongly interacting gauge theory coupled to four-dimensional dynamical gravity in the semiclassical regime. As in previous work, we use holography to evolve the quantum gauge theory stress tensor, whereas the four-dimensional metric evolves according to Einstein's equations coupled to the expectation value of the stress tensor. The novelty of our approach is that both the boundary and the bulk spacetimes are constructed dynamically, one time step at a time. We focus on Friedmann-Lemaître-Robertson-Walker geometries and evolve far-from-equilibrium initial states that lead to asymptotically expanding, flat or collapsing Universes.

Holography has provided valuable insights into the time evolution of strongly coupled gauge theories in a fixed spacetime. However, this framework is insufficient if this spacetime is dynamical. We present a novel scheme to evolve a four-dimensional, strongly interacting gauge theory coupled to four-dimensional dynamical gravity in the semiclassical regime. We use holography to evolve the quantum gauge theory stress tensor. The four-dimensional metric evolves according to the four-dimensional Einstein equations coupled to the expectation value of the stress tensor. We focus on Friedmann-Lemaître-Robertson-Walker geometries and evolve far-from-equilibrium initial states that lead to asymptotically expanding, flat or collapsing Universes.