**Parampreet Singh, LSU**

**Title: Modified loop quantum cosmologies**

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By Jorge Pullin, LSU

Due to the complexity of the Einstein equations candidates for theories of quantum gravity are fairly complex. In fact, we still do not have good control of the quantum Einstein equations in loop quantum gravity. One possibility to make progress is to consider situations with high symmetry, where most degrees of freedom are frozen and one analyzes only a few. Unfortunately, freezing degrees of freedom in the quantum theory is fairly complex.

An alternative approach is to freeze the degrees of freedom at a classical level and then quantize the resulting theory. This technique is known as "minisuperspace" approach. It is not guaranteed that results obtained in this approach will mimic those of the full theory in a symmetric situation but at least it gives an idea of what is possible to expect.

One of the most studied minisuperspaces is that of homogeneous cosmologies, where all degrees of freedom are frozen with the exception of the size of the universe. In loop quantum gravity this approach is known as loop quantum cosmology.

When one quantizes theories, even as simple as the ones one considers in homogeneous minisuperspaces, there are quantization ambiguities. In a recent talk, an alternative quantization of loop quantum cosmology to the traditional one exploiting one of those ambiguities was presented.

This talk presented a thorough analysis of the alternative quantization, partly using the so-called "effective" approach in which one writes down classical equations of motion that are supposed to capture the modifications that the quantum theory introduces in the behavior of the universe. The stability of the solutions was discussed with and without cosmological constant and the behavior of inflation in various types of models was presented. The elimination of the big bang singularity was analyzed in various scenarios that lead to different types of singularity. The emerging picture is of a universe that starts in a deep quantum state and then "bounces" into a large classical universe like the one we live in.