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Nonperturbative quantum geometric effects in loop quantum cosmology (LQC) predict a ρ2 modification to the Friedmann equation at high energies. The quadratic term is negative definite and can lead to generic bounces when the matter energy density becomes equal to a critical value of the order of the Planck density. The nonsingular bounce is achieved for arbitrary matter without violation of positive energy conditions. By performing a qualitative analysis we explore the nature of the bounce for inflationary and cyclic model potentials. For the former we show that inflationary trajectories are attractors of the dynamics after the bounce implying that inflation can be harmoniously embedded in LQC. For the latter difficulties associated with singularities in cyclic models can be overcome. We show that nonsingular cyclic models can be constructed with a small variation in the original cyclic model potential by making it slightly positive in the regime where scalar field is negative. © 2006 The American Physical Society.

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Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology