Narlikar, J. V. ; Padmanabhan, T.
(1983)
*Quantum cosmology via path integrals*
Physics Reports, 100
(3).
pp. 151-200.
ISSN 0370-1573

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Official URL: http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/037015...

Related URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0370-1573(83)90098-4

## Abstract

The main purpose of this article is to report the progress of the path integral approach to quantum cosmology. Since quantum cosmology is an interdisciplinary field involving inputs from quantum theory, general relativity and cosmology, we begin with a brief survey of classical geometrodynamics and classical cosmology as well as an outline of the problems faced by any quantum theory of gravity. It is against this background that the authors' approach described in sections 3-5 is to be viewed and assessed. The Feynman path integral formalism to the extent necessary for following this approach is described first in section 2. In section 3 it is shown that the limited goal of quantizing only the conformal part of the space-time metric can be reached with the help of path integral techniques. A case is made as to why this limited approach is still of relevance to quantum cosmology. Explicit examples are worked out to show how meaningful conclusions can be drawn about quantum uncertainty at the classical singularity, the likelihood of singularity-free and horizon-free models in quantum cosmology and the limits on the validity of classical relativity close to the big bang. In section 4 the existence of stationary states of the universe is discussed. It is shown how the quantization of the conformal degree of freedom leads to stationary states for the quantum analogues of the classical models. The results are generalized and discussed in the framework of the superspace metric. The difficult problem of the back reaction of quantum conformal fluctuations on the space-time metric is tackled in a semiclassical fashion in section 5. In this approach the conformal part of the metric is treated classically while the conformal fluctuations are replaced by their expectation values. The resulting field equations are solved in a few simple cases and physically interpreted. This preliminary work holds promise for a more complete theory of the future. In the end a solution to the flatness problem of classical cosmology is suggested within the framework of conformal fluctuations.

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ID Code: | 25511 |

Deposited On: | 06 Dec 2010 13:17 |

Last Modified: | 02 Jun 2011 08:18 |

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