Quantum simulations of the early universe



A procedure is described whereby a linearly coupled spinor Bose condensate can be used as a physically accessible quantum simulator of the early universe. In particular, an experiment to generate an analog of an unstable vacuum in a relativistic scalar field theory is proposed. This is related to quantum theories of the inflationary phase of the early universe. There is an unstable vacuum sector whose dynamics correspond to the quantum sine-Gordon equations in one, two or three space dimensions. Numerical simulations of the expected behavior are reported using a truncated Wigner phase-space method, giving evidence for the dynamical formation of complex spatial clusters. Preliminary results showing the dependence on coupling strength, condensate size and dimensionality are obtained.