Consistency and observational consequences of loop quantum cosmology

Abstract : Loop quantum gravity (LQG) is an attempt to solve the problem of quantum gravity. Loop quantum cosmology (LQC) is an attempt to apply LQG to early cosmology. The purpose of LQC is to connect LQG with observations. It is very hard to observe any quantum gravity effects because enormous energy density is most likely required. This is exactly why the early Universe is chosen as a stage to search for quantum gravity phenomena.The central result of LQC is that the big bang singularity is replaced by a big bounce. However this is not something that is possible to observe today. For this reason, we have investigated how cosmic perturbations are affected by LQC. We have used the so called deformed algebra approach, and have calculated the resulting spectrums for both scalar and tensor perturbations.The spectrums that we have found are not compatible with observation. However this can not bee taken as very strong evidence against LQG since there are too many assumptions on the way. Rather this is a result for this specific interpretation of LQC.We have also studied the background dynamics (the homogenous part of the equations) of LQC. Since slow-roll inflation is essential in explaining many features of the universe, including the CMB, we want to know if slow-roll inflation is compatible with LQC. We have found that, indeed, it is. If a square potential inflation field is added to the theory, the bounce will lift the potential energy enough to provide around 145 e-folds of slow-roll inflation. However, when anisotropies are taken into account, the amount of inflation decreases, and can even disappear completely if there is too much shear at the time of the bounce.We have derived the modified Friedman equation for anisotropic LQC. This has allowed us to study anisotropic LQC not just numerically, but also analytically, which has given us a much more comprehensive understanding of the situation than what was known before.Finally, we have studied some geometric aspects of de Sitter space, which has resulted in two very different considerations. Firstly we found that we can, for a general theory of modified cosmology and under some quite conservative assumptions, derive the dynamics for a spatially curved universe, given the dynamics of a spatially flat one. This is relevant in theories such as LQC, where it is easier to find the flat solution than the curved one. Secondly, we propose a possible mechanism for the origin and rebirth of the Universe.
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Linda Linsefors. Consistency and observational consequences of loop quantum cosmology. General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology [gr-qc]. Université Grenoble Alpes, 2016. English. ⟨NNT : 2016GREAY009⟩. ⟨tel-01436620⟩

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