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Consequences of quantum gravity on grander scales are expected to be enormous: only such a theory can show how black holes really behave and where our universe came from. Applications of loop quantum gravity to cosmology have especially by now shed much light on cosmic evolution of a universe in a fundamental, microscopic description. Modern techniques are explained in this book which demonstrate how the universe could have come from a non-singular phase before the big bang, how equations for the evolution of structure can be derived, but also what fundamental limitations remain to our knowledge of the universe before the big bang. The following topics will be covered in this book: Hamiltonian cosmology: a general basic treatment of isotropy, perturbations and their role for observations; useful in general cosmology. Effective equations: an efficient way to evaluate equations of quantum gravity, which is also useful in other areas of physics where quantum theory is involved. Loop quantization: a new formalism for the atomic picture of space-time; usually presented at a sophisticated mathematical level, but evaluated here from an intuitive physical side. The book will start with physical motivations, rather than mathematical developments which is more common in other expositions of this field. All the required mathematical methods will be presented, but will not distract the reader from seeing the underlying physics. Simple but representative models will be presented first to show the basic features, which are then used to work upwards to a general description of quantum gravity and its applications in cosmology. This will make the book accessible to a more general physics readership.
This volume focuses on developments in the field of group theory in its broadest sense and is of interest to theoretical and experimental physicists, mathematicians, and scientists in related disciplines who are interested in the latest methods and applications. In an increasingly ultra-specialized world, this volume will demonstrate the interchange of ideas and methods in theoretical and mathematical physics.
Quantum gravity has developed into a fast-growing subject in physics and it is expected that probing the high-energy and high-curvature regimes of gravitating systems will shed some light on how to eventually achieve an ultraviolet complete quantum theory of gravity. Such a theory would provide the much needed information about fundamental problems of classical gravity, such as the initial big-bang singularity, the cosmological constant problem, Planck scale physics and the early-time inflationary evolution of our Universe. While in the first part of this book concepts of quantum gravity are introduced and approached from different angles, the second part discusses these theories in connection with cosmological models and observations, thereby exploring which types of signatures of modern and mathematically rigorous frameworks can be detected by experiments. The third and final part briefly reviews the observational status of dark matter and dark energy, and introduces alternative cosmological models. Edited and authored by leading researchers in the field and cast into the form of a multi-author textbook at postgraduate level, this volume will be of benefit to all postgraduate students and newcomers from neighboring disciplines wishing to find a comprehensive guide for their future research.
We read in order to know we are not alone, I once heard, and perhaps it could also be suggested that we write in order not to be alone, to endorse, to promote continuity. The idea for this book took about ten years to materialize, and it is the author’s hope that its content will constitute the beginning of further explorations beyond current horizons. More speci cally, this book appeals to the reader to engage upon and persevere with a journey, moving through the less well explored territories in the evolution of the very early universe, and pushing towards new landscapes. P- haps, during or after consulting this book, this attitude and this willingness will be embraced by someone, somewhere, and this person will go on to enrich our quantum cosmological description of the early universe, by means of a clearer supersymm- ric perspective. It is to these creative and inquisitive ‘young minds’ that the book is addressed. The reader will not therefore nd in this book all the answers to all the problems regarding a supersymmetric and quantum description of the early universe, and this remark is substantiated in the book by a list of unresolved and challenging problems, itself incomplete.
This book is a collection of lectures given in August 2006 at the Les Houches Summer School on “Particle Physics and Cosmology: the Fabric of Spacetime . It provides a pedagogical introduction to the various aspects of both particle physics beyond the Standard Model and Cosmology of the Early Universe, covering each topic from the basics to the most recent developments. · Provides a pedagogical introduction to topics at the interface of particle physics and cosmology · Addresses each topic from the basis to the most recent developments · Provides necessary tools to build new theoretical models addressing various issues both in cosmology and particle physics · Covers the lectures by internationally-renowned and leading experts · Faces the predictions of theoretical models against collider experimental data as well as from cosmological observations
The relation between quantum theory and the theory of gravitation remains one of the most outstanding unresolved issues of modern physics. According to general expectation, general relativity as well as quantum (field) theory in a fixed background spacetime cannot be fundamentally correct. Hence there should exist a broader theory comprising both in appropriate limits, i.e., quantum gravity. This book gives readers a comprehensive introduction accessible to interested non-experts to the main issues surrounding the search for quantum gravity. These issues relate to fundamental questions concerning the various formalisms of quantization; specific questions concerning concrete processes, like gravitational collapse or black-hole evaporation; and the all important question concerning the possibility of experimental tests of quantum-gravity effects.
In the last five decades various attempts to formulate theories of quantum gravity have been made, but none has fully succeeded in becoming the quantum theory of gravity. One possible explanation for this failure might be the unresolved fundamental issues in quantum theory as it stands now. Indeed, most approaches to quantum gravity adopt standard quantum theory as their starting point, with the hope that the theory’s unresolved issues will get solved along the way. However, these fundamental issues may need to be solved before attempting to define a quantum theory of gravity. The present text adopts this point of view, addressing the following basic questions: What are the main conceptual issues in quantum theory? How can these issues be solved within a new theoretical framework of quantum theory? A possible way to overcome critical issues in present-day quantum physics – such as a priori assumptions about space and time that are not compatible with a theory of quantum gravity, and the impossibility of talking about systems without reference to an external observer – is through a reformulation of quantum theory in terms of a different mathematical framework called topos theory. This course-tested primer sets out to explain to graduate students and newcomers to the field alike, the reasons for choosing topos theory to resolve the above-mentioned issues and how it brings quantum physics back to looking more like a “neo-realist” classical physics theory again.

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