340 research outputs found

    Predicting a Prior for Planck

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    The quantum state of the universe combined with the structure of the landscape potential implies a prior that specifies predictions for observations. We compute the prior for CMB related observables given by the no-boundary wave function (NBWF) in a landscape model that includes a range of inflationary patches representative of relatively simple single-field models. In this landscape the NBWF predicts our classical cosmological background emerges from a region of eternal inflation associated with a plateau-like potential. The spectra of primordial fluctuations on observable scales are characteristic of concave potentials, in excellent agreement with the Planck data. By contrast, alternative theories of initial conditions that strongly favor inflation at high values of the potential are disfavored by observations in this landscape.Comment: 18 pages, 5 figures; v2: minor corrections/clarifications; v3: published version, more explanation on top-down probability distribution over background

    An AdS Crunch in Supergravity

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    We review some properties of N=8 gauged supergravity in four dimensions with modified, but AdS invariant boundary conditions on the m^2=-2 scalars. There is a one-parameter class of asymptotic conditions on these fields and the metric components, for which the full AdS symmetry group is preserved. The generators of the asymptotic symmetries are finite, but acquire a contribution from the scalar fields. For a large class of such boundary conditions, we find there exist black holes with scalar hair that are specified by a single conserved charge. Since Schwarschild-AdS is a solution too for all boundary conditions, this provides an example of black hole non-uniqueness. We also show there exist solutions where smooth initial data evolve to a big crunch singularity. This opens up the possibility of using the dual conformal field theory to obtain a fully quantum description of the cosmological singularity, and we report on a preliminary study of this.Comment: 25 pages, to appear in the proceedings of the conference on Strings and Cosmology, Texas A&M University, March 200

    Replication Regulates Volume Weighting in Quantum Cosmology

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    Probabilities for observations in cosmology are conditioned both on the universe's quantum state and on local data specifying the observational situation. We show the quantum state defines a measure for prediction through such conditional probabilities that is well behaved for spatially large or infinite universes when the probabilities that our data is replicated are taken into account. In histories where our data are rare volume weighting connects top-down probabilities conditioned on both the data and the quantum state to the bottom-up probabilities conditioned on the quantum state alone. We apply these principles to a calculation of the number of inflationary e-folds in a homogeneous, isotropic minisuperspace model with a single scalar field moving in a quadratic potential. We find that volume weighting is justified and the top-down probabilities favor a large number of e-folds.Comment: 13 pages, 3 figures; v2: correction case of data on multiple surfaces, clarification objectivit

    Quantum Transitions Between Classical Histories: Bouncing Cosmologies

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    In a quantum theory of gravity spacetime behaves classically when quantum probabilities are high for histories of geometry and field that are correlated in time by the Einstein equation. Probabilities follow from the quantum state. This quantum perspective on classicality has important implications: (a) Classical histories are generally available only in limited patches of the configuration space on which the state lives. (b) In a given patch states generally predict relative probabilities for an ensemble of possible classical histories. (c) In between patches classical predictability breaks down and is replaced by quantum evolution connecting classical histories in different patches. (d) Classical predictability can break down on scales well below the Planck scale, and with no breakdown in the classical equations of motion. We support and illustrate (a)-(d) by calculating the quantum transition across the de Sitter like throat connecting asymptotically classical, inflating histories in the no-boundary quantum state. This supplies probabilities for how a classical history on one side transitions and branches into a range of classical histories on the opposite side. We also comment on the implications of (a)-(d) for the dynamics of black holes and eternal inflation.Comment: 37 pages, 5 figures, minor corrections, results not change

    Axion Wormholes in AdS Compactifications

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    We find regular axionic Euclidean wormhole solutions in Type IIB string theory compactified on AdS5Ă—S5/Zk\text{AdS}_5\times \text{S}^5/\mathbb{Z}_k. AdS/CFT enables a precise derivation of the axion content of the Euclidean theory, placing the string theory embedding of the wormholes on firm footing. This further sharpens the paradox posed by these solutions.Comment: 11 page
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