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Since the standard inflationary paradigm is based on quantum field theory on classical space-times, it excludes the Planck era. Using techniques from loop quantum gravity, the paradigm is extended to a self-consistent theory from the Planck scale to the onset of slow roll inflation, covering some 11 orders of magnitude in energy density and curvature. This preinflationary dynamics also opens a small window for novel effects, e.g., a source for non-Gaussianities, which could extend the reach of cosmological observations to the deep Planck regime of the early Universe. © 2012 American Physical Society.

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Physical Review Letters