Timeless cosmology with records


Gomes, H. (2017). Timeless cosmology with records. Perimeter Institute. https://pirsa.org/17050056


Gomes, Henrique. Timeless cosmology with records. Perimeter Institute, May. 17, 2017, https://pirsa.org/17050056


          @misc{ pirsa_PIRSA:17050056,
            doi = {10.48660/17050056},
            url = {https://pirsa.org/17050056},
            author = {Gomes, Henrique},
            keywords = {Quantum Gravity},
            language = {en},
            title = {Timeless cosmology with records},
            publisher = {Perimeter Institute},
            year = {2017},
            month = {may},
            note = {PIRSA:17050056 see, \url{https://pirsa.org}}

Henrique Gomes University of Oxford

Talk Type Conference


On the path towards quantum gravity we find friction between temporal relations in quantum mechanics (QM) (where they are fixed and field-independent), and in general relativity (where they are field-dependent and dynamic). In this talk, I will erase that distinction. I encode gravity, along with other types of interactions, in the timeless configuration space of spatial fields, with dynamics obtained through a path integral formulation. The framework demands that boundary conditions for this path integral be uniquely given. Such uniqueness arises if a reduced configuration space can be defined and if it has a profoundly asymmetric fundamental structure. These requirements place strong restrictions on the field and symmetry content of theories encompassed here. When these constraints are met, the emerging theory has no non-unitary measurement process; the Born rule is given merely by a particular volume element built from the path integral in (reduced) configuration space. Time, including space-time, emerges as an effective concept; valid for certain curves in configuration space but not assumed from the start. When some notion of time becomes available, conservation of (positive) probability currents ensues. I will show that, in the appropriate limits, a Schroedinger equation dictates the evolution of weakly coupled source fields on a classical gravitational background. Due to the asymmetry of reduced configuration space, these probabilities and currents avoid a known difficulty of standard WKB approximations for Wheeler DeWitt in minisuperspace: the selection of a unique Hamilton-Jacobi solution to serve as background. I illustrate these constructions with a simple example of a quantum gravitational theory for which the formalism is applicable, and give a formula for calculating gravitational semi-classical relative probabilities in it. Although this simple model gives the same likelihood for the evolution of all TT gravitational modes, there is evidence that a slightly more complicated model would favor modes with the smallest eigenvalues of the Laplacian and thus drive towards homogeneity.