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The sponge-like topology of large-scale structure in the universe
Gott, J. R., III; Dickinson, M.; Melott, A. L.
AA(Princeton University, NJ), AB(Princeton University, NJ)
Astrophysical Journal, Part 1 (ISSN 0004-637X), vol. 306, July 15, 1986, p. 341-357. (ApJ Homepage)
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NASA/STI Keywords:
Cosmology, Galactic Clusters, Space Density, Topology, Universe, Boundaries, Curvature, Dark Matter, Density Distribution, Neutrinos, Polygons, Toroids, Triangles
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The relative connectedness of the high- and low-density regions in the universe is studied using a median density contour which divides space into two equal volumes. The CfA data are found to show a sponge-like topology where the highand low-density regions are both interlocking and equivalent. The boundary surface between the two regions has a general negative curvature, and is characterized by a large number of holes. In the initial conditions the connectedness of the two regions must be identical because a change of sign in the random quantum fluctuations would reverse their roles. It is noted that in the cold dark matter and neutrino scenarios the hole sizes are typically of the order of the smoothing diameter or the damping length, whichever is larger. The sponge-like topology is consistent with the universe having a frothy appearance without being divided neatly into cells. A computer algorithm for measuring topology is discussed.

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