Cyclic mixmaster universes
We investigate the behavior of bouncing Bianchi type IX “mixmaster” universes in general relativity. This generalizes all previous studies of the cyclic behavior of closed spatially homogeneous universes with and without an entropy increase. We determine the behavior of models containing radiation by analytic and numerical integration and show that an increase of radiation entropy leads to an increasing cycle size and duration. We introduce a null energy condition violating ghost field to create a smooth, nonsingular bounce of finite size at the end of each cycle and compute the evolution through many cycles with and without an entropy increase injected at the start of each cycle. In the presence of increasing entropy, we find that the cycles grow larger and longer and the dynamics approach flatness, as in the isotropic case. However, successive cycles become increasingly anisotropic at the expansion maxima which is dominated by the general-relativistic effects of anisotropic 3-curvature. When the dynamics are significantly anisotropic, the 3-curvature is negative. However, it becomes positive after continued expansion drives the dynamics close enough to isotropy for the curvature to become positive and for gravitational collapse to ensue. In the presence of a positive cosmological constant, radiation, and a ghost field, we show that, for a very wide range of cosmological constant values, the growing oscillations always cease and the dynamics subsequently approach those of the isotropic de Sitter universe at late times. This model is not included in the scope of earlier cosmic no-hair theorems because the 3-curvature can be positive. In the case of a negative cosmological constant, radiation, and an ultrastiff field (to create nonsingular bounces), we show that a sequence of chaotic oscillations also occurs, with sensitive dependence on initial conditions. In all cases, we follow the oscillatory evolution of the scale factors, the shear, and the 3-curvature from cycle to cycle.