Since 2002 Perimeter Institute has been recording seminars, conference talks, and public outreach events using video cameras installed in our lecture theatres. Perimeter now has 7 formal presentation spaces for its many scientific conferences, seminars, workshops and educational outreach activities, all with advanced audio-visual technical capabilities. Recordings of events in these areas are all available On-Demand from this Video Library and on Perimeter Institute Recorded Seminar Archive (PIRSA). PIRSA is a permanent, free, searchable, and citable archive of recorded seminars from relevant bodies in physics. This resource has been partially modelled after Cornell University's arXiv.org.
Loop quantum gravity has suggested modifications of the dynamics of cosmological models that could lead to a bounce at large curvature. However, the same modifications may alter the gauge structure of the theory, which is related to the structure of space-time. In a large class of examples the space-time structure has been derived and shown to imply signature change just in the bounce region. The picture of a cyclic universe with a deterministic bounce then has to be replaced by the scenario of a non-singular beginning some finite time ago.
The big bang singularity might be avoided by replacing it with a theory of initial conditions, or by considering a bounce from an earlier contracting phase. I will describe how both proposals can run into difficulties with instabilities when the spacetime must be treated semi-classically (i.e. when bounces occur due to a quantum tunneling transition rather than as classically non-singular solutions). The absence of such instabilities places new restrictions on the available theories, implying a selection criterion whose consequences remain to be explored.
A non-singular cosmological bounce in the Einstein frame can only take place if the Null Energy Condition (NEC) is violated. I will explore the constraints imposed by demanding tree level unitarity on a cosmological background in single scalar field theories before focusing on the explicit constraints that arise in P(X) theories.
I will explain how cosmological dynamics emerge from the hydrodynamics of isotropic group field theory condensate states in the Gross-Pitaevskii approximation. The correct Friedmann equations are recovered in the classical limit for some choices of the parameters in the action for the group field theory, and quantum gravity corrections arise in the high-curvature regime causing a bounce which generically resolves the big-bang and big-crunch singularities.
I will review various approaches to bouncing cosmologies and will discuss challenges which the different approaches face.
I discuss potentially observable signatures of scalar and tensor decaying modes, which do not exist in inflation, and could be a probe of a bouncing universe.
There is a huge body of work in Loop Quantum Cosmology comprising of several thousand journal articles. I will provide an overview of conclusions, focusing on the difficult conceptual and mathematical issues that accompany the notion of a bounce and opening the way for phenomenological implications that will be discussed by Ivan Agullo.
Check back for details on the next lecture in Perimeter's Public Lectures Series