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Because of nonperturbative quantum gravitational effects, the classical big bang singularity is replaced by a quantum big bounce of the mean scale factor in loop quantization of Bianchi-I spacetime. An important issue is to understand the various differences in the physical properties of the spacetime across the bounce. We investigate this issue in the context of various geometrical structures, identified by the Kasner exponents of the metric, which arise on approach to the singularity in the classical theory. Using an effective spacetime description of the Bianchi-I model in loop quantum cosmology with dust, radiation and stiff matter, we find that as in the classical theory, geometrical structures such as a cigar or a pancake form, but they are finite and nonsingular. Depending on the initial conditions of the matter and anisotropies, different geometric structures are possible in the pre- and post-bounce phases in physical evolution. Thus, quantum gravitational effects can cause a Kasner transition in Bianchi-I spacetime, which is not possible at the classical level. Interestingly, we find that not all transitions are allowed at the level of effective dynamics in loop quantum cosmology. We find the selection rules and underlying conditions for all allowed and forbidden transitions. The selection rules suggest that for a given set of initial conditions on anisotropies, the occurrence of Kasner transitions follows a distinct pattern, and certain transitions are more favored than others. © 2012 American Physical Society.

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Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology