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Inhomogeneities in Loop Quantum Cosmology: The Gowdy Model

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As a necessary step towards the extraction of realistic results from Loop Quantum Cosmology, we analyze the physical consequences of including inhomogeneities. We consider a gravitational model in vacuo which possesses local degrees of freedom, namely, the linearly polarized Gowdy cosmologies. We carry out a hybrid quantization which combines loop and Fock techniques. We discuss the main results of this hybrid quantization, which include the resolution of the cosmological singularity, the construction of the Hilbert space of physical states, and the recovery of a conventional quantization for the inhomogeneities. In addition, an analysis of the model at the effective level confirms the robustness of the Big Bounce scenario, with preservation -or partial amplification- of the amplitudes of the inhomogeneous modes through the bounce in a statistical average.