Open Questions: Quantum Cosmology
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See also: Quantum theory 
Quantum gravity 
Cosmic inflation
Imaginary time
Pea instantons

Site indexes

Open Directory Project: Quantum Cosmology
 Categorized and annotated links. A version of this
list is at
Google, with entries sorted in "page rank" order. May also be
found at
Netscape.
Sites with general resources

The Life of the Cosmos
 Web site maintained by the author, Lee Smolin, for material
related to his book.
Surveys, overviews, tutorials

Quantum Cosmology
 Part of the
Cambridge Relativity site.
Presents a detailed overview of quantum cosmology and instantons.

Did our cosmos exist before the big bang?
 December 2008 article from New Scientist.
Explores the idea of loop quantum cosmology and theories of Abhay
Ashtekar, including the
possibility that the universe has "bounced" from a state of
high density.

A quantum leap for cosmology
 November 2001 article from
Physics World, by
Lee Smolin. "A theory that unites quantum mechanics and general
relativity claims that there was no first moment in time, but it
still agrees with the predictions of classical cosmology."

Quantum Cosmology Lectures
 Presented by Don N. Page in 1994. Quantum cosomology is the
quantum theory of the universe. The theory is needed because
general relativity breaks down at singularities (such as exist
at the initial state of the universe).

Wave Function of the Universe(s)
 Very brief overview.

The Decay of the False Vacuum
 1983 article by Sten Odenwald from Astronomy

The Planck Era
 1984 article by Sten Odenwald from Astronomy

Beyond the Big Bang
 1987 article by Sten Odenwald from Astronomy

SpaceTime: The Final Frontier
 1996 article by Sten Odenwald from Sky and Telescope.

A survey on quantum cosmology
 Short article by Paulo VargasMoniz.

The Essence of Supersymmetric Quantum Cosmology
 Short article by Paulo VargasMoniz.
Technical papers

Populating the Landscape: A Top Down Approach
 2006 paper by S. W. Hawking and Thomas Hertog. It proposes
a framework for cosmology that combines the string landscape with
no boundary initial conditions. The basic idea is to consider
the initial state of the universe as a superposition of all
possible states. Conclusions are derived about these initial
states based on observational information from (e. g.) the
cosmic microwave background.

Quantum Cosmology and Eternal Inflation
 2002 expository lecture by Alexander Vilenkin. Part 1 deals with
the tunneling approach to quantum cosmology. Part 2 discusses the
relation of quantum cosmology and Vilenkin's theory of eternal
inflation.

An Introduction to Quantum Cosmology
 Notes from 1995 lectures by D. L. Wiltshire on quantum cosmology,
given to an audience with interests ranging from astronomy to
particle physics. Postscript, PDF, and other formats. Also
here.
 Why is There Life?
Brad Lemley
Discover, November 2000, pp. 6469
 Martin Rees has observed that six physical constants must have
their observed values in order for life to exist in our universe.
The best explanation of this circumstance is the existence of
an infinite number of what Andre Linde calls "selfreproducing
inflationary universes", each of which may have different values
of the six constants.
 Just 6 Numbers
Martin Rees
Astronomy, July 2000, pp. 5459
 The author explains the six physical constants which seems to have
exactly the right values to allow life to exist. Since there is no
known theory that establishes what these numbers must be, it is
may be there are multiple universes where all possible values are
found, guaranteeing at least one (ours) that allows life.
 Give Peas a Chance
Tom Yulsman
Astronomy, September 1999, pp. 3846
 The inflationary big bang theory says nothing about what
"caused" the event. A new theoretical construct called a
"pea instanton" and invented by Neil Turok and Stephen Hawking
may provide a more precise model as well as testable predictions.
 Cooking Up a Cosmos
Alan H. Guth
Astronomy, September 1997, pp. 5457
 The universe as we know it may have originated in a process
known as decay of the false vacuum. It is conceivable that an
advanced civilization could produce this effect in a laboratory.
 Why Is There Something Instead of Nothing?
James Trefil
Astronomy, July 1997, pp. 5657
 In quantum mechanics, a vacuum is not quite the same as
nothing. It can contain the origin of a universe like ours.
 What Happened Before the Big Bang?
Michio Kaku
Astronomy, May 1996, pp. 3441
 Multiple universes may be continually forming due to
quantum fluctuations in the vacuum of a "multiverse".
 Quantum Cosmology and the Creation of the Universe
Jonathan J. Halliwell
Scientific American, December 1991, pp. 7685
 Conventional cosmological theories of the universe are
incomplete because they fail to explain or even describe the
singularity out of which the universe seems to have emerged.
Quantum cosmology attempts to improve on this by considering the
wave function of the whole universe.
 The Edge of Spacetime
S. W. Hawking
American Scientist, JulyAugust 1984, pp 355359
 General relativity predicts that the universe has a
boundary and time a beginning. This introduces the problem of
determining the boundary conditions. Quantum mechanics suggests that
spacetime is finite but without boundary. A "no boundary"
hypothesis is theoretically and philosophically attractive.
 Lee Smolin  The Life of the Cosmos
Oxford University Press, 1997
 An outstanding book that speculates on how multiple universes
created out of processes inside black holes could "evolve" towards
a universe such as ours which has just the right characteristics
to support life. It attempts to relate fundamental theories and
ideas from big bang cosmology, particle physics, general relativity,
and possible new concepts of spacetime.
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Copyright © 2002 by Charles Daney, All Rights Reserved