General Relativity and the ΛCDM framework are currently the standard lore and constitute the concordance paradigm. Nevertheless, long-standing open theoretical issues, as well as possible new observational ones arising from the explosive development of cosmology the last two decades, offer the motivation and lead a large amount of research to be devoted in constructing various extensions and modifications.All extended theories and scenarios are first examined under the light of theoretical consistency, and then are applied to various geometrical backgrounds, such as the cosmological and the spherical symmetric ones. Their predictions at both the background and perturbation levels, and concerning cosmology at early, intermediate and late times, are then confronted with the huge amount of observational data that astrophysics and cosmology are able to offer recently. Theories, scenarios and models that successfully and efficiently pass the above steps are classified as viable and are candidates for the description of Nature.We list the recent developments in the fields of gravity and cosmology, presenting the state of the art, high-lighting the open problems, and outlining the directions of future research.
The canonical quantization of N = 1 and N = 2 supergravity theories is reviewed in this report. A special emphasis is given to the topic of supersymmetric Bianchi class-A and FRW minisuperspaces, namely in the presence of supermatter fields. The quantization of the general theory (including supermatter) is also contemplated. The issue of quantum physical states is subsequently analysed.
We study the dynamics of flat Friedmann-Robertson-Walker (FRW) cosmologies in the presence of a triplet of massive vector fields with SO(3) global symmetry. We find an E 3 -symmetric ansatz for the vector fields that is compatible with the E 3 -invariant FRW metric and propose a method to make invariant ansätze for more general cosmological models. We use techniques of dynamical systems to study qualitatively the behaviour of the model and find, in particular, that the effective equation of state of the system changes gradually from a radiation-dominated to a matter-dominated form and that the scale of the transition depends on the mass of the gauge fields. † Work supported in part by a JNICT graduate scholarship BD/138/90-RM and by STRIDE/FEDER Project JN.91.02.‡ Work supported by a GTAE (Grupo Teórico de Altas Energias) grant.
Cosmologies with a Chaplygin gas have recently been explored with the objective of explaining the transition from a dust dominated epoch towards an accelerating expansion stage. We consider the hypothesis that the transition to the accelerated period involves a quantum mechanical process. Three physically admissible cases are possible. In particular, we identify a minisuperspace configuration with two Lorentzian sectors, separated by a classically forbidden region. The Hartle-Hawking and Vilenkin wave functions are computed, together with the transition amplitudes towards the accelerating epoch. Furthermore, it is found that for specific initial conditions, the parameters characterizing the generalized Chaplygin gas become related through an expression involving an integer n. We also introduce a phenomenological association between some brane-world scenarios and a FRW minisuperspace cosmology with a generalized Chaplygin gas. The aim is to promote a discussion and subsequent research on the quantum creation of brane cosmologies from such a perspective. Results suggest that the brane tension would become related with generalized Chaplygin gas parameters through another expression involving an integer.PACS numbers: 98.80.-k, 98.80.Qc
Diagonal Bianchi type-IX models are studied in the quantum theory of N = 1 supergravity with a cosmological constant. It is shown, by imposing the supersymmetry and Lorentz quantum constraints, that there are no physical quantum states in this model. The k = +1 Friedmann model in supergravity with cosmological constant does admit quantum states. However, the Bianchi type-IX model provides a better guide to the behaviour of a generic state, since more gravitino modes are available to be excited. These results indicate that there may be no physical quantum states in the full theory of N = 1 supergravity with a non-zero cosmological constant.
Classical models for dark energy can exhibit a variety of singularities, many of which occur for scale factors much bigger than the Planck length. We address here the issue whether some of these singularities, the big freeze and the big démarrage, can be avoided in quantum cosmology. We use the framework of quantum geometrodynamics. We restrict our attention to a class of models whose matter content can be described by a generalized Chaplygin gas and be represented by a scalar field with an appropriate potential. Employing the DeWitt criterium that the wave function be zero at the classical singularity, we show that a class of solutions to the Wheeler-DeWitt equation fulfilling this condition can be found. These solutions thus avoid the classical singularity. We discuss the reasons for the remaining ambiguity in fixing the solution.
Within an algebraic framework, used to construct the induced-matter-theory (IMT) setting, in (D + 1)-dimensional Brans-Dicke (BD) scenario, we obtain a modified BD theory (MBDT) in D dimensions. Being more specific, from the (D + 1)-dimensional field equations, a D-dimensional BD theory, bearing new features, is extracted by means of a suitable dimensional reduction onto a hypersurface orthogonal to the extra dimension. In particular, the BD scalar field in such Ddimensional theory has a self-interacting potential, which can be suitably interpreted as produced by the extra dimension. Subsequently, as an application to cosmology, we consider an extended spatially flat FLRW geometry in a (D + 1)-dimensional space-time. After obtaining the power-law solutions in the bulk, we proceed to construct the corresponding physics, by means of the induced MBDT procedure, on the D-dimensional hypersurface. We then contrast the resulted solutions (for different phases of the universe) with those usually extracted from the conventional GR and BD theories in view of current ranges for cosmological parameters. We show that the induced perfect fluid background and the induced scalar potential can be employed, within some limits, for describing different epochs of the universe. Finally, we comment on the observational viability of such a model.
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