We investigate cosmological density perturbations in a covariant and gauge-invariant formalism, incorporating relativistic causal thermodynamics to give a self-consistent description. The gradient of density inhomogeneities splits covariantly into a scalar part, equivalent to the usual density perturbations, a rotational vector part that is determined by the vorticity, and a tensor part that describes the shape. We give the evolution equations for these parts in the general dissipative case. Causal thermodynamics gives evolution equations for viscous stress and heat flux, which are coupled to the density perturbation equation and to the entropy and temperature perturbation equations. We give the full coupled system in the general dissipative case, and simplify the system in certain cases. A companion paper uses the general formalism to analyze damping of density perturbations before last scattering.
|Physical Review D
|Published - 15 Oct 1997