Bounce Scenarios in Cosmology
Resolving the big bang singularity with a non-singular classical bounce usually requires the introduction of some sort exotic matter which violates the null-energy condition (NEC), such as a scalar field that undergoes ghost condensation, or models involving Galileon fields. In such models an NEC violating phase is not difficult to achieve on its own, but the situation becomes much more restrictive once observational and stability requirements are taken into consideration.
I will highlight cosmological consequences of Group Field theory Condensate Cosmology and Emergent Gravity on Non-commutative Spaces, two cosmological models based on a top-down and a bottom-up, respectively, approaches to quantum gravity. In particular, I will show that the initial singularity of the standard cosmology is replaced by a bounce, while there is an inflation-like phase with a graceful exit, driven by a purely geometrical mechanism which does not require the introduction of an ad-hoc scalar field.
In his talk I will review some recent results concerning the cosmological bounce in loop quantum gravity. In particular I will show how the predicted duration of inflation in affected by the choices of initial conditions, amount of shear and inflaton potential shape. Then I will show how those ideas can be used in black holes physics and comment on the associated phenomenology?
Loop quantum cosmology has become a robust framework to describe the highest curvature regime of the early universe. In this theory, inflation is preceded by a bounce replacing the big bang singularity. I will summarize the theoretical framework, and explore the corrections to the inflationary predictions for the primordial spectrum of cosmological perturbations that this pre-inflationary, quantum gravity phase of the universe introduces. The impact of the bounce on non-Gaussianity and the exciting relation to the observed large scale anomalies in the CMB will be discussed.
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.