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Quantum Cosmology on the Worldsheet*

ADRIAN

R. COOPER

**Stanford Linear Accelerator Center Stanford University, Stanford, California 94309
**

t t

LEONARD

SUSSKIND

AND LARUS

THORLACIUS

Department of Physics Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305

ABSTRACT

Two-dimensional with central quantum gravity coupled to conformally a toy model for quantum invariant gravity matter in four

charge c > 25 provides Two-dimensional quantum

dimensions.

cosmology can thus be studied in terms of constant depends

string theory in background on non-linear dynamics

fields. The large scale cosmological

in the string theory target space and does not appear to effects.

be suppressed by wormhole

Invited talk presented at the “Strings and Symmetries” workshop, Stony Brook, N. Y. May 20-25, 1991.

* Work supported by the Department of Energy, contract DE-AC03-76SF00515, t Supported in part by NSF grant PHY89-17438

1. Introduction

In this lecture some implications cosmological of string theory for Coleman’ theory of the s

constant [l] will be discussed. String theory will not be considered in but rather as a model of quantum gravity Much of the point

its role as a possible theory of everything with the two-dimensional material worldsheet

playing the part of spacetime.

covered here has appeared previously of Polchinski

in reference [2]. The starting quantum gravity

is the observation

[3] that two-dimensional

coupled

to D > 25 scalar matter fields has all the ingredients to make Coleman’ argument. s The main requirements

l

are: topologies

a sum over geometries which includes non-trivial an action for the conformal a Euclidean

l

mode which is unbounded from below of a sphere with radius N -&- where X ID’ constant. to the Euclidean action for such

l

saddle point consisting cosmological

is the two-dimensional

The leading order semi-classical approximation

**. a spherical geometry is given by SE = $ log X for large D ‘ The power law behavior
**

in four dimensions is replaced by a logarithm result the Baum-Hawking sum over wormholes exponential amplitude in the two-dimensional theory. As a the

[4,5] becomes X-D/6,

and after performing

Coleman’ ‘ s exponential

of exponential’ [l] reduces to a single

exp X -D/6.

Nevertheless, if, as suggested by Coleman, this expression distribution for the cosmological constant, then

can be regarded as a probability

it implies the vanishing of X in two dimensions. Coleman’ s wormhole argument consists of two parts. The first says that the sum over quantum

topologies

converts the constants of nature into probabilistic on superspace.

variables governed by a wave-function that the wave-function is proportional

The second part assumes

to the Euclidean path integral and that this

t Gravitational fluctuations are suppressed as D ---i cm. The existence of this semi-classical limit will be crucial for some of our arguments later on. 2

ill defined path integral configurations.

can be evaluated by formally

summing

over saddle point

This is to be compared with the conclusions that string theory leads to. First of all, it appears to be correct that topology change makes the couplings of the twodimensional worldsheet theory into quantum argument variables in target space. However, by string theory. The

the second part of Coleman’ s wave-function

is not supported

for coupling constants appears to be controlled

by phenomena which

know nothing of the large scale structure x = 0. The remainder

of space-time and have no reason to prefer

of the paper is organized of two-dimensional

as follows.

In section 2 we briefly in conformal gauge

review the formulation

quantum

gravity

and establish the connection we study “cosmological” governs the propagation of baby universes. equations of motion couplings with

with string theory in background

fields. In section 3 equation which condensate

solutions and derive the Wheeler-Dewitt of a one-dimensional

universe in a background

In section 4 we examine the relation and the renormalization Section 5 deals with

between the target space of

group, and consider the evolution the question of the two-dimensional calculation

scale.

cosmological

constant in this framework.

We present an explicit

of the proce-

required string theory beta-function, dure. Finally

using an appropriate

renormalization

we conclude with a discussion of our results.

2. Two-dimensional

Quantum

Gravity

gravity,

and String

Theory

Let us begin with a theory of quantum spacetime (go, or), involving treatments quantum

defined on a two-dimensional Most

a metric 3;lb and D scalar matter fields Xi(@).

have focused on the case D 5 1 but for the purpose of modelling cosmology it is appropriate invariant, to consider D > 25. The action is taken to but can otherwise be quite general. It is also the theory out the

be local and coordinate

assumed that some covariant exists. Unfortunately

non-perturbative

method of regularizing

no such method

**is known at present for carrying
**

3

continuum

theory path integral in a manifestly

covariant manner.

Instead we shall methods of

have to rely on a prescription of regularization gauge-invariant

which is the analogue of old-fashioned in gauge theories.

and renormalization regulators,

Before the invention

a procedure which worked was to regularize the theory non-invariance by

in a non-covariant allowing mass.

way and then compensate for the resulting to contain non-gauge-invariant

the Lagrangian

terms, such as a photon through Ward

At the end of the day, the gauge symmetry which place constraints

is re-imposed

identities,

on the values of the added terms. gravity follows:

A particular

**version of this method for two-dimensional
**

l

Gauge fixing:

The first step is to remove the over-counting invariance. For each worldsheet topology

of metrics due to introduce some

general coordinate fixed fiducial,

metric

Tab. Then choose coordinates to the fiducial metric,

such that the physical

metric is conformal

(24

The original Xi(a) path integral is replaced by an integral over the matter fields

and the one remaining field.

degree of freedom of the metric $(a), which is

**called the Liouville
**

l

Regularization:

In order to define the gauge-fixed

path integral

the ultra-

violet divergences of the theory need to be regularized. perturbative discretization The regulator regulator can be introduced by discretizing

For example, a nonthe worldsheet. This

is to remain fixed and not be summed over as in matrix involves a shortest fiducial length defined by,

models.

(2.2)

where E’ is the line element connecting the nearest lattice points and S tends to zero as the cut-off is removed. A more covariant definition would refer would

**the cut-off scale to the physical metric Yab, but then the regularization
**

4

depend on the Liouville

field which is being integrated regularization procedure

over.

Thus we are

**obliged to use a non-covariant concrete definition
**

l

in order to have a

of the continuum Performing

theory path integral. over short distance fluctua-

Renormalization:

the path integral

tions of both the matter and gravitational terms, involving 4 and Xi,

fields generates various interaction These terms will in ?& and therefore

in the effective Lagrangian. chosen fiducial covariant. metric

general depend on the arbitrarily

the effective theory will not be manifestly original theory is assumed to be invariant mations

On the other hand, the transfor-

under general coordinate

so no such dependence on ?& should occur.

Thus we must impose is not af-

upon the renormalized

theory that the value of the path integral metric.

fected by the choice of fiducial arranging

This can be achieved by, first of all, with respect to

the terms in the effective action to be covariant

Tab. This does not restrict

the possible couplings but merely labels them acproperties under fiducial reparametrizations. does not depend on the determinant of all couplings in the theory vanish.

cording to their transformation The condition

that the path integral

of -i, requires that the beta-functions

This means that the gauge fixed theory must be an exact fixed point of the renormalization To summarize: scalar fields, X’ . a non-covariant to the matter group in order to maintain the original general covariance.

We start with a generally covariant theory of gravity coupled to In order to define the path integral we fix a gauge and regularize in

manner.

The resulting

theory involves a scalar field, 4, in addition The original covariance that

fields, and is in general quite complicated.

appears as a set of restrictions all the beta-functions

on the couplings, which include the requirement

vanish. Notice that in this way of stating things 4 and Xi are The Liouville This approach field has been promoted to the quantization to an additional

placed on equal footing. target gravity space dimension.

of two-dimensional

has been advocated

by a number of authors [3,6,7,&g]. invariant scalar field theory in

**We are thus led to consider reparametrization
**

5

two dimensions.

The action can in general include terms with arbitrary

functional

dependence on $ and Xi, and with any number of derivatives For convenience, let us define X0 = $5 where q2 = y. standard normalization can then be written, for the Liouville

acting on the fields.

This resealing leads to action

kinetic term. The two-dimensional

s = & /- d2a fi

{T(X)

+ ~“b&xp&xYG,,(x)

+ 2ii Q(X) + -. -} ,

(2.3)

zero more k.

with p = O,l,. . . , D. We have written and two: derivatives but there is an infinite

down the terms of scaling dimensions involving curvature

sequence of possible couplings

on the Xfi and higher powers of the two-dimensional investigated

This class of theories has been extensively the action

in string theory, where spacetime dimeninvariance of the

(2.3) d escribes strings in background equations, implementing

fields in D+l the conformal

sions. The beta-function two-dimensional @(X) and G,,(X) additional

theory, have the form of field equations in target-space (tachy on, dilaton and graviton fields respectively),

for T(X), along with

fields representing higher order couplings. and creation and ‘ annihilation

These field equations describe eigenmodes of universes

the propagation

of the particle-like

strings in spacetime, or more to the point of this paper, one-dimensional containing matter fields! Because of the identification

X0 = 84, the role of time is

in target space is played by the two-dimensional of primary

scale. The tachyon field, T(X), cosmological

interest because it controls the two-dimensional

constant.

A cosmological

term in the original classical action corresponds to a tachyon backwith increasing two-dimensional scale,

ground which grows exponentially

J

as the tachyon background

d2a JrX

=

J

d2a &LZ%~~

.

theory,

(2.4

as long growth

As we shall see, this remains qualitatively

true in the quantum

remains weak, but the rate of the exponential

* For simplicity, we have not included the anti-symmetric tensor field. Its presence would not qualitatively alter our conclusions. t We will use the string theory names for the target-space fields, but the reader should keep in mind their cosmological interpretation. 6

is modified eventually

by quantum

fluctuations.

The exponentially

growing background

will

become strong and then non-linear The two-dimensional

effects in the target cosmological

space theory

can no longer be ignored.

constant will still be regime, but

governed by the behavior of the tachyon background the connection between the two is more subtle. of motion, obtained

in the non-linear

The string theory equations

by setting beta-functions

to

zero, are derivable from a target-space a truncated G&X). theory, containing

action.

For simplicity,

we will work within T(X), Q(X) and

only the lowest order couplings, the target-space

T o 1ea d’ g or d er in derivatives, m

action for these fields is

I = -’ dD+1X&e-2@ 7+13+4(vQ)~-(oT)~-2V(T)+...}, J 2so2

where V(T)

(2.5)

**= -T2 + . . . is the tachyon effective potential.
**

are not universal, and renormalization ambiguities the detailed prescription

Since renormalization will depend

group beta-functions on the regularization

form of V(T)

used. This is believed to In fact all

correspond to field redefinition

in the target space equations.

higher order terms in the tachyon beta-function space derivatives,

can be arranged to involve target leaving only -T2

and therefore be removed from the potential

[11,12]. It should b e st ressed that using such a prescription fact that the target space equations are non-linear satisfied by a simple exponential

in no way alters the

and are in general not exactly The important question to

tachyon background.

ask is whether there exists a renormalization can be identified with Wheeler-Dewitt

scheme in which the target space fields of a one-dimensional universe. scheme

amplitudes

We will return to this point in section 5, where we propose an appropriate and present a calculation of V(T) to all orders in T.

3. Quantum

Cosmology

in Two Dimensions

The equations of motion which follow from the target space action (2.5) are

v2T-2vfbvT=

V'(T),

0%-2(vq2=-

7

+ V(T), ;G,,(~T)~.

RpV - ~G,,R=-~~~v~~+G,,~~~+v,Tv,T-

These equations have a simple solution, the so called linear dilaton background [13], which for D > 25 is given by

T=O, G,u = v/w, a=

The target space is Lorentzian

(3.2)

-Qxo

2

mode, X0, which is time-

and it is the conformal

like. This means that the kinetic term of X0 in (2.3) has the “wrong” sign and the Euclidean action of the two-dimensional theory is unbounded from below. This

is analogous to the instability

of the Euclidean

path integral in four-dimensional

gravity, which lies at the heart of Coleman’ argument for the vanishing of the coss mological gravity constant. On the other hand, it means that Euclidean is ill-defined two-dimensional group

coupled to D > 25 matter

and the renormalization

computation,

which led to the target space equations

(3.1), can only be viewed on a worldsheet

**as a formal argument.
**

of Lorentzian signature

Ideally the theory should be reformulated

but it is unclear at present how to perform the steps inof such a theory (regularization, people have sought to circumvent renormalization, etc.).

volved in the quantization In four-dimensional mally rotating gravity

this problem by forfactor into the

the contour of path integration

over the conformal

complex plane to obtain a well defined integral [14]. While this formal procedure can also be applied in the two-dimensional question [15]. theory, its validity has been called into

8

I

We will use the target space picture to define the two-dimensional

theory for

D > 25. The equations of motion (3.1), which were arrived at via a formal derivation based on a Euclidean Lorentzian worldsheet, lend themselves to an interpretation as a is

field theory of strings.

Our assumption,

which may be unwarranted,

that a consistent Lorentzian space field theory. describe splitting two-dimensional butions

worldsheet formulation

would lead to the same target singular geometries which in the Lorentzian

Since the equations are non-linear, and joining

strings will have to be included In addition,

path integral.

the path integral will receive contrifrom the background, in Euclidean which

from universes being absorbed or emitted singularities.

also involves two-dimensional metric compute

By contrast,

space the methods to

can be chosen with no singularities. renormalization group beta-functions,

We only use Euclidean

but our subsequent discussion of signature.

the two-dimensional - An important gravity

cosmology takes place with Lorentzian difference between the worldsheet

theory and four-dimensional is dimensionless, the strength so

is that the gravitational

coupling in two dimensions

there is no proper Planck scale. However, as is well known,

of the

string coupling depends on the dilaton field in target space. A key feature of the linear dilaton background to the two-dimensional (3.2) is that the string loop coupling constant is related

scale,

g =

go e@

=goe2

QXO

.

(3.3)

We can only expect the effective field theory to be simple where this coupling is weak. For D > 25 the theory is strongly coupled for sufficiently small strings and on

target space quantum mechanics (string loops) are important

in the ultraviolet

the worldsheet *. One can say that a Planck scale is spontaneously

induced, and

define it by the point at which gee @ = 1. The factor of go can be absorbed by a constant shift of the dilaton. The effective Planck-scale is then set by q-l. It

*** In contrast with the D 5 1 case, where the strength of quantum corrections tends to zero
**

in the limit of metrically small strings. 9

depends on the number of scalar fields in the theory, and in particular, is a semi-classical limit for gravitational fluctuations+. Another

D + 00

way to see that between the

-’ T-7 defines the Planck scale in this theory is to consider the relation classical conformal A particularly mode and the quantum interesting cosmological variable, ZC$= X0.

system is given by an expanding conditions

uni-

verse which starts out at small scale. The question of initial cated, just as it is in four-dimensional strongly quantum

is compli-

cosmology, because the theory is

coupled early on. We will assume that the short distance physics can be by some unknown initial state at the Planck-time, which then evolves conditions on

summarized

in the weakly coupled theory. the target-space in target-space. A background Iis beta-function and is non-linear.

In a classical theory this means initial

fields and in a quantum

theory it corresponds to a wave-function

tachyon field can be added to the linear dilaton equation

solution

(3.2).

depends on the shape of the effective potential, we will assume that the background

V(T),

field is

For the moment

weak. The tachyon equation can then be linearized as follows,

**-i#T+i$T-qdoT+2T=0,
**

and if we further find solutions assume that the tachyon background

(34

only depends on X0, we

T(X”)

Such a homogeneous background two-dimensional

= Xe (-fQ$+a)x”

configuration

.

(3.5)

and Kawai

is the D > 25 analog of the D < 1 [16] and by Distler

field theories discussed by David

PV

One of the solutions decays in the weak coupling regime X0 j 00 but the other one grows exponentially with scale. The system is unstable and is likely to

t For D 5 1 a corresponding semi-classical limit is reached as the number of scalar fields is formally taken to D --+ -co. 10

form a condensate of background

tachyons.

In the D --t oo semi-classical

limit

we recover the classical cosmological solution. At this point the quantum

term (2.4) f rom the exponentially behavior is qualitatively ef = eq , Ix’

growing

the same as in the

classical theory, but the classical scale factor, to efXo ,witha=-:+ J-

has b een renormalized

f +2.

Wheeler-Dewitt description

In order to make contact with a more conventional of cosmology, nentially let us consider fluctuations

of some target space field in the expo-

growing tachyon background,

TB(X’ )

= X e(-f+GJxoe

Take, for ex-

ample, a tachyon with some non-zero space-like momentum a one-dimensional universe with some matter excitation. invariant.

k. This corresponds to

The target-space action it

(2.5) is not time-translation is convenient form

In order to describe physical fluctuations by a field redefinition,

to absorb the em2’ pre-factor

which has the

U(X) for tachyons. A fluctuation

= e --‘ Yx) T(X)

P-6)

Ur;(X) = Uk(Xo) eikiXi satisfies a linear equation,

a,“& + (k2 + V”(TB) - ;,Uk

Near the top of the potential exponential the tachyon background

= 0.

is well approximated

(3.7)

by the of all but the leading (3.7) becomes

form (3.5) and we can drop the contribution

terms of the potential

V(T) in the fluctuation

equation, whereupon

a,“Uk + (k2-2-$)Uk

where i = XV”‘ (O).

+ ie (-f+&ixoUk

= 0,

(3.8)

“X0 If we change variables from X0 to the scale factor a = e2 form,

this takes a more conventional

a2 a { $u-&~

Up to factor-ordering

+ (k2-2-c)

+ ia2}Uk

= 0.

equation

(3.9)

derived

ambiguities,

**this is the Wheeler-Dewitt
**

11

from the mini-superspace

Lagrangian

of two-dimensional

gravity,

L = -( ;)2 - -$ [k” - (2+$

The three terms in square brackets are the matter, constant energy densities.

+ j;,‘ ]

.

and cosmological

curvature

It seems that we have recovered a more or less conventional description constant of large scale cosmology. In particular,

Wheeler-Dewitt

the problem of the cosmological constant, the

is the usual one. In order to obtain vanishing cosmological increasing solution for T(X”) must be fine-tuned

exponentially

to zero. In other We the

words, the tachyon must be delicately are ignorant initial state,

balanced at the top of the potential.

about the short distance physics, which is supposed to determine so we have no way of gauging how likely

it is to find the system initial state is

balanced at the top of this potential. not allowed in a quantum

At any rate, such a fine-tuned

theory, because of the uncertainty

principle. starts out

However, this is not the whole story. Even if the tachyon background near the top of the potential order non-linear it will’ eventually

roll into the region where the highercannot be ignored. As we have

terms in the tachyon beta-function different renormalization

already mentioned,

prescriptions

in the two-dimensional Since the -T2

theory will lead to different evolutions

for the tachyon background.

term in V(T) is universal the different schemes will all agree near T = 0, but away from the origin they can present very different pictures. of whether identify Dewitt candidate For example, the question The key issue here is to to Wheeler-

V(T)

h as a minimum

is scheme-dependent.

the definition amplitudes

of the tachyon field most closely corresponding in the two-dimensional cosmology.

In section 5 we propose a to all orders in

scheme for calculations that framework.

and obtain the tachyon potential

T within

It should be emphasized that the non-linear do not disappear and joining in the semi-classical limit

effects that we are talking

about

D + co. In particular,

the splitting equations

**events described by the non-linear
**

12

terms of the target-space

are unsuppressed even at large scales. This may seem surprising coupling is becoming weak, with e@ = e-;Xo.

because the string

Indeed, the canonical tachyon field

U(X')

defined in (3.6) satisfies

[V2

+

(2 + c)]u

= ~eetXou2.

limit

(3.11) the tachyon mass

As we move toward

the semi-classical

q +

co, though,

squared increases as L , so that the unstable exponential 4 the decreasing coupling the tachyon instability, ponentially case. strength.

growth of U compensates along with

The existence of string interactions,

shows that the usual Liouville

model described by an ex-

growing tachyon background

is not the complete theory in the D > 25

4. The Running

Before delving further clarify the connection malization

of Coupling

Constants

cosmology, we would like to

into the two-dimensional

between the target space equations of motion and the renorfield theory.

group flow of couplings ‘ the two-dimensional in

The equations of motion for the target-space fields are that the beta-functions of all two-dimensional couplings vanish. From this one might conclude that the

couplings seen by a two-dimensional the correct interpretation. as renormalization renormalization hence determines miliar

observer would not run. This, however, is not

We can think of the equations for the target-space fields with the logarithm of the

group equations with $X0 identified

scale. The X0 dependence of the coupling functions their evolution with scale. This connection (3.1) are second-order

T, @, G,, . . .

may appear unfain X0 derivatives, equations.* containing

because the equations of motion

whereas the usual renormalization The higher-order gravity, nature

flows are controlled

by first-order of theories

of the flows is a special feature variable.

where the scale itself is a dynamical

* The equations of motion (3.1) are of course only the leading order approximation to the exact beta-function equations, which include terms with an arbitrary number of derivatives. 13

The situation formulation

is similar to the issue of time evolution gravity.

in the Wheeler-Dewitt H,, ]@I>= 0 which

of quantum

We begin with an equation occurs. Reinterpreted,

seems to imply that no time evolution tells us how the wave function verse. The Wheeler-Dewitt is second-order. classical limit two-dimensional or equivalently

though, the equation of the uni-

of matter

evolves with the expansion

equation,

like the equations of motion

for T, a, GpV,

The first-order

Schrodinger equation fluctuations limit

is only recovered in a semi[18]. In our

in which gravitational theory,

become unimportant corresponds to taking

the semi-classical

D +

00

qt

oo. In this limit

we will see how the target-space

field equa-

tions reduce to the familiar corrections to the ordinary

renormalization renormalization

group equations, and how gravitational group beta-functions can be obtained

systematically

in a “large q” expansion. as a simple example, the case of fluctuations with about the linear a flat target-space to the

We consider, dilaton metric. background

at the top of the tachyon potential

A field A, at the nth mass level in string theory will contribute

effective action a term

&

1 &ew2’

{ (vA,)~

- 2(1-n)Ai

+ . . .} .

Its equation of motion in a linear dilaton background

is

+ k2 - 2(1-n)]

As we saw previously, the tachyon rolling

A, = 0.

P-2)

this equation has unstable solutions for n = 0, which describe off the top of its potential. Note, however, that the solutions graviton and

for n > 1 are stable for all values of q. In other words, the dilaton, higher couplings do not become “tachyonic” for large D.

Now, recalling that the scale factor is a = eFxo, we can rewrite

(4.2) as

[T

a2

(us)’

+ yu

L

$ k2 - 2(1-n)]

14

A, = 0.

(4.3)

Thus when q + 00 we find a first-order

equation,

a $ A, = (-k2 + 2(n-1))

A,,

(4.4

where we have used that Q + Callan-Symanzik equation

3 + O($)

for large q. This is the usual lowest order 2n. In particular the

for a coupling of bare dimension

field h,, has anomalous dimension

-k2 as expected.

of motion will include complicated higher-

The exact target space equations derivative limit terms, which are difficult

to compute explicitly,

but in the semi-classical

they will all be suppressed by powers of qw2 in the same way as the second-

order term in (4.3). T o see that, note first of all that the only effect of the linear dilaton background (3.2) on beta-function calculations is to shift the anomalous

dimensions

of vertices.

For example, a tachyon with target space momentum

k,

has its dimension

shifted from dk = 2 - k2 to dk = 2 + iqko - k2, but this is the factor of q enters into the tachyon beta-function. sigma model Feynman One graphs

only place where an explicit

can easily convince oneself of this by considering

[2]. As a result, all terms in the equations of motion with higher-order with respect to the conformal equations

derivatives,

mode, pick up factors of qw2, when we express the

in terms of the scale factor a. These terms will therefore all vanish in limit and should be viewed as gravitational computed corrections

the q -+ 00 semi-classical to the renormalization

group beta-functions

on a flat worldsheet.

In fact, by using simple manipulations, tions of motion as conventional corrections.

we can rewrite the target space equagroup equations with gravitational

renormalization

This is easily illustrated

for the example considered above. The rightto /?:(A;), the beta-function correction of A, to ,Bi we

hand side of (4.4) is the leading contribution on a flat worldsheet.

To obtain the leading order gravitational (4.3) as

write the second-order equation

[-$(+

t

l]a-$L

= PO@.) z 7 n

(4.5)

15

and solve for the corrected beta-function

to the next order in 4 ’ !7

h(A)

E aLAn

We can use this trick

to rewrite

any higher-derivative

term in the target

space

equations as a contribution

to the renormalization

group beta-functions,

suppressed

by some powers of q -2. In this way a systematic to compute gravitational of motion corrections

large q expansion can be developed The higher-order equation

to beta-functions.

for a given target space field has a number of solutions. tachyon background

For example, Only one of large

we have a choice of sign in the exponential of these solutions

(3.5).

reduces to the expected classical behavior

in the limit

**q, and it is not hard to see that this semi-classical branch also provides a solution
**

to the corresponding corrections. We have so far been considering two-dimensional cosmology with a trivial matan first-order renormalization group equation with gravitational

ter sector, consisting of several free fields. A more complicated interacting matter sector coupled to the conformal

theory, involving

mode, provides more stringent free sigmathree radius

tests of the above ideas. One can, for instance, study an asymptotically model coupled to gravity. of the target-space r(X’ ),

This case was considered in reference [a], taking compactified to a sphere of time-dependent

dimensions

but leaving the remaining

**D-3 spatial coordinates flat.
**

behavior.

We will not go The sigma-model of

into the details here, but only discuss the qualitative coupling strength is l/r,

and the X0 dependence of r(X”)

gives the running

the coupling

with scale. This is easily checked by inserting

a metric of the above limit the

**form into the target space equations of motion (3.1). In the semi-classical
**

16

standard

renormalization

group flow,

ug

is reproduced. This calculation

(;)

= 2(g3,

(4.7)

is

is valid for large r, where the sigma-model

weakly coupled, but breaks down as the system passes into the strongly regime. However, since we know that the flat space sigma-model

coupled only

contains

massive particles sigma-model

[ 191, we may speculate that well below the induced mass scale, the

degrees of freedom decouple. This would correspond to the effective becoming smaller at some point in the evolution of

central charge of the matter the universe. All this has important trivial sigma-model

consequences for the cosmological generates a two-dimensional

constant.

The non-

dynamics

vacuum energy, which As explained

manifests

itself as a source term in the tachyon equation of motion. growth

before, it is the exponential

of the tachyon field as it rolls off the top of constant term in the Wheeler-Dewitt

the hill that gives rise to the cosmological

equation (3.9). W e might imagine that it would be possible to “fine tune” the initial conditions constant so that the tachyon would thus vanish. stays balanced at the top, and the cosmological

In our simpler examples in which the target-space of

was flat, we saw that this could indeed be done. Now, however, the coupling the sigma-model to the two-dimensional gravity will make it impossible.

There

are terms in the target space effective action which couple T and G,,. be determined explicitly by beta-function calculations,

They can it

but for our argument

will suffice to note that there must be some such term because string theory has a non-zero graviton-graviton-tachyon term involving of motion. vertex. There will thus be an extra source in the tachyon equation from the initial at large

some power of the target space curvature contracts,

As the three-sphere

this will knock the tachyon

top of the potential. conditions scales.

We would therefore have to search for new fine-tuned

to make the tachyon end up balanced at the top of the potential

**This need to account for the matter constant problem.
**

17

vacuum energy is just the familiar

cosmological

**5. The Tachyon Beta-Function and the Cosmological Constant
**

In this section we return to the issue of a large-scale cosmological constant. will follow the system as the tachyon background into the non-linear universe, interacting constant. region and investigate with the background, We

rolls off the top of its potential

whether observers in a two-dimensional would register a non-zero cosmological of the tachyon background at large

In order to discuss the evolution

scales we need to compute its beta-function.

A more or less standard perturbative there.

approach is described in reference [2] and the leading terms are obtained Such calculations rapidly get quite involved and it is not tractable to all orders. In addition, the cosmological renormalization enormously.

to compute the interpretation prescription. The general

complete beta-function

of the results is sensitive to the choice of perturbative In the semi-classical limit the problem simplifies

argument given in the previous section can be applied to the equation of motion for a homogeneous tachyon background. As q + 00 all terms with higher derivatives,

with respect to the conformal mode, will be suppressed. Since all space-derivatives vanish for homogeneous backgrounds the equation becomes first-order classical limit, in the semi-

a-&T = -V’ (T),

and the dynamics is completely determined

(54

for tachyons with vanishing

by the shape of the effective potential.

The problem is reduced to finding target space momentum, a trivial

the beta-function

i.e. for a constant tachyon field. This might appear to be tachyon background only con-

task since, according to (2.3), a constant

tributes a c-number, & s d2a fi,

to the two-dimensional

action. This is too simple

a view to take, for it does not take into account the effect of the regularization which is required to define the quantum theory. If, for example, the ultra-violet then the excluded volume

divergences are cut off using a hard sphere regulator, introduces non-trivial effects even when T is constant.

18

The tachyon potential

**V(T) can be obtained using a lattice method introduced
**

scheme is particularly couplings suitable for cosmologidentified with are directly

in reference [2]. Th’is regularization ical applications Wheeler-Dewitt coordinate

because the renormalized amplitudes.

Begin by introducing

a square lattice on the fiducial !O on of that

space with lattice by integrating

spacing E. In each cell we define an amplitude over the two-dimensional fields in the interior

the boundary

cell, fixing the values on the boundary. on the lattice edges. The remaining

This defines an effective theory that lives over the boundary values of the

integration

fields yields the full path integral. the product

**The integrand of the effective theory is given by Schematically,
**

) * (5.2)

over all cells of the cell amplitudes.

Z=

Renormalization and integrating

D4boundary

‘ ($boundary @

can be carried out by fixing the field values on some sub-lattice over the field on the remaining 9 are by construction lattice edges. amplitudes. To intro-

The amplitudes duce target-space

Wheeler-Dewitt

fields we can expand @(C$bOundary) terms of string modes. Let in Then

X be the zero-mode part of X on the boundary. Q = (1 - T(i) where 90 is the free theory amplitude. to be independent

- Gp&%)&!

By requiring

. . +&

,

(54

behavior

the long wavelength

of the cutoff we can define beta-functions not a convenient

for the target space cal-

fields T, G,, . . . . This is certainly culations

scheme for beta-function

in the presence of general couplings, but in the special case of a constant function is simply

tachyon field, we can obtain the full answer. Then the partition

Z=Jn

F = c2 log 2 = log(l-T).

D4boundary

(1 -

T)

*O (4boundary)

cells

(5.4

= (1 - T)%‘ (T

= 0))

to $. The free energy is therefore

**where the total number of cells N is proportional Th e running
**

19

of the coupling

T with E is defined by

requiring

the partition

function

to be independent

of the cutoff scale. This implies

0 = $F(T) (5.5) = -SF(T)

We define the beta-function

t

$F’ (T)g.

in the usual way,

P(T) = cg F(T) = 2F’ (T)

= - 2(1-T) This zero-momentum tachyon beta-function log(l-T) . corresponds to the following potential,

(5.6)

V(T) = -T t ;T2 - (1-T)210g(l-T),

which has the form of an unstable tionary point tachyon potential

F-7)

cannot be

near T = 0 and has a sta-

at T = 1, which is singular

(V” - 00). The potential

continued

past the singularity

but, as we shall see, the tachyon field never rolls equation of

beyond T = 1. To see how this works, insert (5.7) into the first-order motion, u; This is easily solved by writing

T = -2(1-T)

(1-T)

log(l-T) .

= es, so that

d azS=2S.

There is one integration constant which is determined by initial conditions

(5.9)

on T, (5.10) term (2.4) with

T = 1 - eeAa2.

For small T this solution cosmological constant reduces to the classical cosmological

**A. The equation for S is linear so we see that this example
**

20

provides a realization non-linear

of the fact that tachyon field redefinition of motion.

can eliminate

the

terms in the equation

However, the resulting amplitude in equation

field S is no

longer proportional

to the Wheeler-Dewitt

(3.6). in-

Now consider a two-dimensional teracting is linear,

universe containing

some matter excitation

with the tachyon background

(5.10). The fluctuation

equation it satisfies

O=u-+k2r+V”(T)~

(5.11)

=(u$

In the semi-classical with non-vanishing limit

+ k2 - 2 + iu’ 7. )

to the Wheeler-Dewitt equation (3.9)

this is equivalent constant.

cosmological

It is very important we obtained

for the large-scale cosmology that the tachyon potential It is the singular behavior at T = 1,

takes precisely the form (5.7).

due to the logarithm,

which allows a non-vanishing

cosmological

constant at large non-linear

scale. It is quite striking evolution equation

that in spite of the apparently

complicated

of the tachyon background obtained co limit

**T given by (5.10), the linear Wheeler-Dewitt
**

Liouville theory in this context to note that the

from (5.1) is precisely that of mini-superspace [3,15,20,21]. It is interesting

in the q +

tachyon background

also satisfies a linear equation,

+-(1-T)

This suggests the alternate definition o(X) In the large q limit the following

+ i u2(1-T)

= 0.

(5.12)

for the canonical tachyon field (3.6), - T(X)). (5.13)

= e-@(X)(l

linear second-order equation for 0, (5.14)

is equivalent equation

to (5.12).

Equation

(5.14) d i ff ers from the k = 0 Wheeler-Dewitt This is the

**(3.9) by the term due to the bare dimension of the tachyon.
**

21

equation to identify

that the SL(2, C) vacuum of string theory satisfies [3], and it is natural that state with the most symmetric universe [3,22]. cosmological constant the tachyon background (5.10) apuniverse or Hartle-Hawking state of a one-

dimensional

For any non-zero proaches the minimum

of its potential

at T = 1 as the two-dimensional

evolves to ever larger scale. It is unclear what conformal responds to a tachyon field sitting rather trivial a standard one. By the arguments matter theory

field theory, if any, cor-

at rest at T = 1, but we suspect it to be a of Kutasov and Seiberg [20,23] it cannot be the 2’ = 1 fixed point

coupled to gravity.

Apparently

describes the asymptotic

behavior of an expanding

universe long after all relevant

scales (e.g. the cosmological

constant scale) have been passed. The only remaining matter fields from which the scale of the metric

degrees of freedom are conformal decouples. The situation

is analogous to that in QCD at very large distance scales Another closer example

where the only degrees of freedom are massless pions. is provided cal constant by the D = 0 one-matrix corresponds to a matrix model. potential

In this case a non-zero cosmologislightly off criticality. The model

flows to the trivial interpretation

Gaussian matrix

model at large scales and the random surface

breaks down.

6. Conclusions

Our results can be summarized ogy can be formulated as follows. Two-dimensional quantum cosmol-

as a string theory with background determines In particular,

fields.

The dynamics con-

of fields in the string theory target-space stants in the two-dimensional in two dimensions a non-linear that, universe.

the values of coupling the cosmological

constant

is governed by the background of motion. conditions, Nevertheless,

tachyon

field, which satisfies dynamics is such with

equation

the non-linear

for generic initial

a two-dimensional

universe interacting

the background cosmological

obeys a standard linear Wheeler-Dewitt

equation with a non-zero

constant.

22

If this picture dynamics

is correct

then there is nothing cosmological

in the classical target constant at large scales.

space The

which favors a vanishing

question remaining conclusion.

is whether the effects of wormhole arbitrary worldsheet topologies

topologies

can change this turns the

Including

in string theory

classical target-space Coleman,

field theory into a quantum

field theory.

As emphasized by variables.

the couplings of the worldsheet field theory become quantum

However, the effective value of Planck’ constant for the target-space theory is itself s a field, and is given by h,ff cc e2@= e-‘ Jxo. Thus quantum corrections are expected

to become negligible for large X0, and hence only to influence small scales. Now consider the quantum Its Lagrangian is mechanics of a tachyon field depending only on X0.

V qxo ( -f2 Qe

where V is the volume quantum fluctuations of (Xl,.

+ 2T2 + . . .) ,

If this volume is infinite,

(64

then If the

. . , XD)-space.

are negligible

and the tachyon

evolves classically.

volume is finite, then the tachyon, and therefore the two-dimensional constant, is a true quantum variable. To describe it, a quantum

cosmological wave-function

for the target

space fields must be introduced.

The form of this wave-function the effect of

at some value of X0 for which e-qxo is already small summarizes small wormholes. If we assume that this wave-function rapidly

is of some generic form at becomes classical, the only distribution quantization for the initial can force the

X0 N 0, then since the subsequent behaviour effect of wormholes conditions.

is to provide a generic probability

Thus, we see no way in which target-space constant to zero.

large-scale cosmological

23

REFERENCES

1. S. Coleman, Nucl. Phys. B30’ (1988), 867., Nucl. Phys. B310 (1988), 643. 7

2. A. Cooper, L. Susskind and L. Thorlacius, April

Two-Dimensional

Quantum

**Cosmology, SLAC-PUB-5536,
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3. J. Polchinski,

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4. E. Baum, Phys. Lett. 133B 5. S. W. Hawking,

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Phys. Lett. 134B

6. T. Banks, Physicalia Magazine, vol 12, Special Issue in Honor of the 60th Birthday of R. Brout,(Gent 1990).

7. S. R. Das, S. Naik and S. R. Wadia, Mod. Phys. Lett. A4 (1989), 1033; S. R. Das, A. Dhar and S. R. Wadia, Mod. Phys. Lett. A5 (1990), 799. 8. T. Banks and J. Lykken, 9. A. A. Tseytlin, Nucl. Phys. B331 (1990), 173.

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C. G. Callan and Z. Gan, Nucl. Phys. B272 11. T. Banks

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24

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14. G. W. Gibbons, S. W. Hawking and M. J. Perry, Nucl. Phys. B138 141. 15. J. Polchinski in Strings 90, Proceedings of the Superstring

(1978),

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16. F. David, Mod. Phys. Lett. A3 (1988), 1651. 17. J. Distler and H. Kawai, Nucl. Phys. B321 (1985), 332. (1989), 509.

18. T. Banks, Nucl. Phys. B249 19. A.B. Zamolodchikov

and A.B. Zamolodchikov,

Annal.Phys. 120 (253), 1979.

-20. N. Seiberg, Notes on Quantum Liouville Rutgers preprint, 21. G. Moore, RU-90-29, 1990.

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N. Seiberg and M. Staudacher,

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25

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