General Relativity and Gravitation

, Volume 41, Issue 9, pp 2017–2030 | Cite as

Geometrical order-of-magnitude estimates for spatial curvature in realistic models of the Universe

  • Thomas Buchert
  • George F. R. Ellis
  • Henk van Elst
Research Article


The thoughts expressed in this article are based on remarks made by Jürgen Ehlers at the Albert-Einstein-Institut, Golm, Germany in July 2007. The main objective of this article is to demonstrate, in terms of plausible order-of-magnitude estimates for geometrical scalars, the relevance of spatial curvature in realistic models of the Universe that describe the dynamics of structure formation since the epoch of matter–radiation decoupling. We introduce these estimates with a commentary on the use of a quasi-Newtonian metric form in this context.


Relativistic cosmology Inhomogeneous models Structure formation Spatial curvature 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Buchert
    • 1
  • George F. R. Ellis
    • 2
  • Henk van Elst
    • 3
  1. 1.Centre de Recherche Astrophysique de LyonUniversité Lyon 1Saint-Genis-LavalFrance
  2. 2.Cosmology and Gravity Group, Department of Mathematics and Applied MathematicsUniversity of Cape TownRondeboschSouth Africa
  3. 3.Fakultät I: BetriebswirtschaftMerkur Internationale FH KarlsruheKarlsruheGermany

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