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We construct physical semiclassical states annihilated by the Hamiltonian constraint operator in the framework of loop quantum cosmology as a method of systematically determining the regime and validity of the semiclassical limit of the quantum theory. Our results indicate that the evolution can be effectively described using continuous classical equations of motion with nonperturbative corrections down to near the Planck scale below which the Universe can only be described by the discrete quantum constraint. These results, for the first time, provide concrete evidence of the emergence of classicality in loop quantum cosmology and also clearly demarcate the domain of validity of different effective theories. We prove the validity of modified Friedmann dynamics incorporating discrete quantum geometry effects which can lead to various new phenomenological applications. Furthermore the understanding of semiclassical states allows for a framework for interpreting the quantum wave functions and understanding questions of a semiclassical nature within the quantum theory of loop quantum cosmology. © 2005 The American Physical Society.

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Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology