Loop quantum cosmology and the fate of cosmological singularities

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Singularities in general relativity such as the big bang and big crunch, and exotic singularities such as the big rip are the boundaries of the classical space-times. These events are marked by a divergence in the curvature invariants and the breakdown of the geodesic evolution. Recent progress on implementing techniques of loop quantum gravity to cosmological models reveals that such singularities may be generically resolved because of the quantum gravitational effects. Due to the quantum geometry, which replaces the classical differential geometry at the Planck scale, the big bang is replaced by a big bounce without any assumptions on the matter content or any fine tuning. In this manuscript, we discuss some of the main features of this approach and the results on the generic resolution of singularities for the isotropic as well as anisotropic models. Using effective spacetime description of the quantum theory, we show the way quantum gravitational effects lead to the universal bounds on the energy density, the Hubble rate and the anisotropic shear. We discuss the geodesic completeness in the effective spacetime and the resolution of all of the strong singularities. It turns out that despite the bounds on energy density and the Hubble rate, there can be divergences in the curvature invariants. However such events are geodesically extendible, with tidal forces not strong enough to cause inevitable destruction of the in-falling objects.

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Bulletin of the Astronomical Society of India

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