Weyl anomalies and quantum cosmology

Abstract : In this thesis we study the cosmological consequences of Weyl anomalies arising from the renormalization of composite operators of the fundamental fields, including the metric. These anomalies are encoded in the gravitational dressings of the operators in a non-local quantum effective action. We derive the evolution equations that follow from this action and look for cosmological solutions. For simplicity, we focus on Einstein-Hilbert gravity with a cosmological constant. We first consider two-dimensional gravity, where Liouville theory allows us to compute the gravitational dressing of the cosmological constant operator. Using a Weyl-invariant formulation, we determine the gauge-invariant but non-local effective action, and compute the corresponding non-local momentum tensor. The Weyl anomalies modify the full quantum momentum tensor, not only its trace, and hence lead to interesting effects in the cosmological dynamics. In particular, we find a decaying vacuum energy and a slow-down of the de Sitter expansion. In four dimensions, motivated by our results in two dimensions, we parametrize the effective action with scale-dependent gravitational dressings, and compute the general evolution equations. In the approximation of constant anomalous dimensions, the momentum tensor leads to a decaying vacuum energy and a slow-roll quasi-de Sitter expansion, just as in two dimensions. The anomalous dimensions are in principle computable in a given microscopic theory using semiclassical methods. Even though the anomalous dimensions are small in perturbation theory, their integrated effect over several e-folds could add up to something significant during primordial cosmology.
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Maria Teresa Bautista Solans. Weyl anomalies and quantum cosmology. General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology [gr-qc]. Université Pierre et Marie Curie - Paris VI, 2016. English. ⟨NNT : 2016PA066329⟩. ⟨tel-01473888⟩

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