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Martin Bojowald

The Pennsylvania State University

Institute for Gravitation and the Cosmos

University Park, PA

Cosmic Expansion

19251929, Edwin Hubble:

Precise distance measurement of

extra-galactic nebulae.

Escape velocity proportional to distance.

Space is expanding.

1915, General relativity: space dynamical, physical object;

not absolute.

Simple explanation of the beginning of the universe?

Before the big bang p.2

1948, George Gamow, Ralph Alpher, Robert Herman:

Dense, hot phase should be visible thanks to remnant radiation.

Current temperature predicted to be less than 5K (-268 C).

1968, Penzias and Wilson: First (unintended) measurement of

the predicted radiation, temperature: 2.7K.

1991: The satellite COBE shows

isotropy of the radiation.

(2006 Nobel Prize)

WMAP, and soon Planck.

Symmetry

Detailed description of the whole universe seems hopeless.

Possible only thanks to high degree of symmetry:

Homogeneity and isotropy as shown by COBE.

Symmetry

Detailed description of the whole universe seems hopeless.

Possible only thanks to high degree of symmetry:

Homogeneity and isotropy as shown by COBE.

Time

interesting.

and the Bright Star Catalog

with help from Blanton, Finkbeiner,

Padmanabhan, Schlegel, Wherry

a

t

2

8G M

=0

3 a

Changes according to Friedmann equation:

constant G for gravity. Kinetic and potential energies balanced.

Before the big bang p.6

Formation of structure

Falling temperature in an expanding universe:

T

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ionization 1111111

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energy of H 1111111

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CMB released

hydrogen clouds

seed galaxies t

Before the big bang p.7

Hot primordial plasma scatters electromagnetic radiation.

Radiation released about 400 000 years after densest moment.

WMAP

Nearly homogeneous ( 105 ). Overall picture consistent,

very successful regarding many observations.

Before the big bang p.8

Weight problem

Different types of observations all in agreement, especially of

Cosmic microwave background,

Galaxy distribution,

Supernovae redshifts.

5% atoms (visible when hot)

23% Dark Matter (inferred from galaxy rotation curves)

72% Dark Energy (according to supernovae)

important to determine the future evolution of the universe.

The past

Friedmann equation:

a

t

2

8G M

=0

3 a

density infinite. Mathematical equations break down. Singularity.

Not just for this matter model, but generally (Hawking, Penrose).

Before the big bang p.10

Whats missing?

The singularity is a limit of the theory, and does not mean a limit

of the world or its beginning.

Current theories must be improved.

All physics is quantum,

except general relativity.

Combination with general relativity: quantum gravity.

Before the big bang p.11

Wave function

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Time

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pointlike. Consequences:

Properties (such as position) indistinct, spread-out.

Quantum fluctuations.

Many different ways for change, compared to simple motion

Before the big bang p.12

Quantum fluctuations

For as its belt sparkled and glittered now in one part

and now in another, and what was light one instant, at

another time was dark, so the figure itself fluctuated in

its distinctness: being now a thing with one arm, now

with one leg, now with twenty legs, now a pair of legs

without a head, now a head without a body: of which

dissolving parts, no outline would be visible in the

dense gloom wherein they melted away. And in the very

wonder of this, it would be itself again; distinct and clear

as ever.

C HARLES D ICKENS : A C HRISTMAS C AROL

Discreteness

More indirect consequence of quantum mechanics:

Quantum jumps, discreteness, atoms.

Important even for macroscopic behavior: Stability and structure

of atoms, molecules, . . .

e

p

Atoms

1905, Albert Einstein: Analysis of Brownian motion as

convincing evidence for atoms.

Thomas Steiner

Atoms

1905, Albert Einstein: Analysis of Brownian motion as

convincing evidence for atoms.

Thomas Steiner

1955, Erwin Mller: First direct image of atoms using field ion

microscopy.

Before the big bang p.15

Atoms of space?

Planck scale: gravitational constant G, speed of light c and

Plancks constant ~ combine to

p

P = G~/c3 1035 m

Currently, smallest scale probed at particle accelerators:

1018 m.

Planck density: a trillion suns compressed to the size of a

proton.

No direct observation anytime soon.

Even theory not complete, and different approaches exist.

Before the big bang p.16

Quantum gravity

Approaches:

String theory describes

quantum excitations of

waves on space-time,

unification of forces.

atoms.

Volume ladder

1

h

Before the big bang p.17

Operators

Quantum mechanics:

Possible energies of atoms discrete.

Discrete angular momentum (and spin)

important for energy levels and transitions.

Molecules:

many electrons/nuclei combined.

Quantum gravity:

Volume is the crucial quantity (e.g. of the whole universe),

becomes discrete.

Elementary variables mathematically behave like angular

momentum attached to all points in space.

Loop quantum gravity.

Before the big bang p.18

Chainmail

Expand

Bounce

Discrete space provides limited energy storage.

Density remains finite:

bounded by Planck density of about a trillion

solar masses in the size of a single proton.

No complete collapse, no singularity.

The story continues.

C+ n+1 + C0 n + C n1 = H(n)

n

Bounce

Cyclic universe

1930s Richard Tolman postulates and analyzes cyclic universe

models.

1940s1960s Alpher, Herman; Penzias, Wilson: Big bang

model established.

1979 Novello, Salm; Melnikov, Orlov:

First mechanisms for a bounce.

Since 1996, Durrer, Laukenmann; Peter, Pinto-Neto, . . . :

cosmological consequences.

Since 2000: Loop quantum cosmology;

and Steinhardt, Turok, . . . : cyclic models in string theory.

Second law of thermodynamics: Entropy/disorder must increase.

Why is there any order if this has been going on for infinite time?

Big bang: Quantum physics important even for space. Have to

bring in fluctuations, . . .

Can this help to establish order?

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Before the big bang p.24

Observations?

Direct glance at big bang or at spatial atoms quite impossible,

but indirect test possibilities exist.

Like a crystal, granular structure of space-time causes tiny

variations in propagation of waves, diffraction.

May be magnified by long cosmic expansion.

Planck

LISA

References

2008

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