We propose a mechanism borrowed from string theory which yields a nonsingular transition from a phase of ekpyrotic contraction to the expanding phase of standard big bang cosmology. The same mechanism converts the initial vacuum spectrum of cosmological fluctuations before the bounce into a scale-invariant one, and also changes the spectrum of gravitational waves into an almost scale-invariant one. The scalar and tensor tilts are predicted to be the same, in contrast to the predictions from the “string gas cosmology” scenario. The amplitude of the gravitational wave spectrum depends on the ratio of the string scale to the Planck scale and may be in reach of upcoming experiments.

*Robert Brandenberger, Nonsingular ekpyrotic cosmology with a nearly scale-invariant spectrum of cosmological perturbations and gravitational waves, APS Physics *