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Barvinsky A. O. | Barvinsky Andrei O. | Barvinsky Andrei | Barvinsky A. | Barvinsky A O | Barvinsky Andrey O.

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Inflation in generalized unimodular gravity

Barvinsky A. O., Kolganov N.
15 Aug 2019 gr-qc astro-ph.CO hep-th arxiv.org/abs/1908.05697

The recently suggested generalized unimodular gravity theory, which was originally put forward as a model of dark energy, can serve as a model of cosmological inflation driven by the effective perfect fluid -- the dark purely gravitational sector of the theory. Its excitations are scalar gravitons which can generate, in the domain free from ghost and gradient instabilities, the red tilted primordial power spectrum of CMB perturbations matching with observations. The reconstruction of the parametric dependence of the action of the theory in the early inflationary Universe is qualitatively sketched from the cosmological data. The alternative possibilities of generating the cosmological acceleration or quantum transition to the general relativistic phase of the theory are also briefly discussed.

Heat kernel for higher-order differential operators and generalized exponential functions

Barvinsky A. O., Pronin P. I., Wachowski W.
06 Aug 2019 hep-th math-ph math.MP arxiv.org/abs/1908.02161

We consider the heat kernel for higher-derivative and nonlocal operators in $d$-dimensional Euclidean space-time and its asymptotic behavior. As a building block for operators of such type, we consider the heat kernel of the minimal operator - generic power of the Laplacian - and show that it is given by the expression essentially different from the conventional exponential Wentzel-Kramers-Brillouin (WKB) ansatz. Rather it is represented by the generalized exponential function (GEF) directly related to what is known in mathematics as the Fox-Wright $\varPsi$-functions and Fox $H$-functions. The structure of its essential singularity in the proper time parameter is different from that of the usual exponential ansatz, which invalidated previous attempts to directly generalize the Schwinger-DeWitt heat kernel technique to higher-derivative operators. In particular, contrary to the conventional exponential decay of the heat kernel in space, we show the oscillatory behavior of GEF for higher-derivative operators. We give several integral representations for the generalized exponential function, find its asymptotics and semiclassical expansion, which turns out to be essentially different for local operators and nonlocal operators of noninteger order. Finally, we briefly discuss further applications of the GEF technique to generic higher-derivative and pseudodifferential operators in curved space-time, which might be critically important for applications of Horava-Lifshitz and other UV renormalizable quantum gravity models.

Dynamics of the generalized unimodular gravity theory

Barvinsky A. O., Kolganov N., Kurov A., Nesterov D.
23 Mar 2019 hep-th gr-qc arxiv.org/abs/1903.09897

The Hamiltonian formalism of the generalized unimodular gravity theory, which was recently suggested as a model of dark energy, is shown to be a complicated example of constrained dynamical system. The set of its canonical constraints has a bifurcation -- splitting of the theory into two branches differing by the number and type of these constraints, one of the branches effectively describing a gravitating perfect fluid with the time-dependent equation of state, which can potentially play the role of dark energy in cosmology. The first class constraints in this branch generate local gauge symmetries of the Lagrangian action -- two spatial diffeomorphisms -- and rule out the temporal diffeomorphism which does not have a realization in the form of the canonical transformation on phase space of the theory and turns out to be either nonlocal in time or violating boundary conditions at spatial infinity. As a consequence, the Hamiltonian reduction of the model enlarges its physical sector from two general relativistic modes to three degrees of freedom including the scalar graviton. This scalar mode is free from ghost and gradient instabilities on the Friedmann background in a wide class of models subject to a certain restriction on time-dependent parameter $w$ of the dark fluid equation of state, $p=w\varepsilon$. For a special family of models this scalar mode can be ruled out even below the phantom divide line $w=-1$, but this line cannot be crossed in the course of the cosmological expansion. This is likely to disable the generalized unimodular gravity as a model of the phenomenologically consistent dark energy scenario, but opens the prospects in inflation theory with a scalar graviton playing the role of inflaton.

Darkness without dark matter and energy -- generalized unimodular gravity

Barvinsky A. O., Kamenshchik A. Yu.
26 May 2017 gr-qc hep-th arxiv.org/abs/1705.09470

We suggest a Lorentz non-invariant generalization of the unimodular gravity theory, which is classically equivalent to general relativity with a locally inert (devoid of local degrees of freedom) perfect fluid having an equation of state with a constant parameter $w$. For the range of $w$ near $-1$ this dark fluid can play the role of dark energy, while for $w=0$ this dark dust admits spatial inhomogeneities and can be interpreted as dark matter. We discuss possible implications of this model in the cosmological initial conditions problem. In particular, this is the extension of known microcanonical density matrix predictions for the initial quantum state of the closed cosmology to the case of spatially open Universe, based on the imitation of the spatial curvature by the dark fluid density. We also briefly discuss quantization of this model necessarily involving the method of gauge systems with reducible constraints and the effect of this method on the treatment of recently suggested mechanism of vacuum energy sequestering.

Origin of inflation in CFT driven cosmology: $R^2$-gravity and non-minimally coupled inflaton models

Barvinsky A. O., Kamenshchik A. Yu., Nesterov D. V.
23 Oct 2015 hep-th gr-qc arxiv.org/abs/1510.06858

We present a detailed derivation of the recently suggested new type of hill-top inflation [arXiv:1509.07270] originating from the microcanonical density matrix initial conditions in cosmology driven by conformal field theory (CFT). The cosmological instantons of topology $S^1\times S^3$, which set up these initial conditions, have the shape of a garland with multiple periodic oscillations of the scale factor of the spatial $S^3$-section. They describe underbarrier oscillations of the inflaton and scale factor in the vicinity of the inflaton potential maximum, which gives a sufficient amount of inflation required by the known CMB data. We build the approximation of two coupled harmonic oscillators for these garland instantons and show that they can generate inflation consistent with the parameters of the CMB primordial power spectrum in the non-minimal Higgs inflation model and in $R^2$ gravity. In particular, the instanton solutions provide smallness of inflationary slow-roll parameters $\epsilon$ and $\eta<0$ and their relation $\epsilon\sim\eta^2$ characteristic of these two models. We present the mechanism of formation of hill-like inflaton potentials, which is based on logarithmic loop corrections to the asymptotically shift-invariant tree level potentials of these models in the Einstein frame. We also discuss the role of $R^2$-gravity as an indispensable finite renormalization tool in the CFT driven cosmology, which guarantees the non-dynamical (ghost free) nature of its scale factor and special properties of its cosmological garland type instantons. Finally, as a solution to the problem of hierarchy between the Planckian scale and the inflation scale we discuss the concept of a hidden sector of conformal higher spin fields.

New type of hill-top inflation

Barvinsky A. O., Kamenshchik A. Yu., Nesterov D. V.
24 Sep 2015 hep-th gr-qc arxiv.org/abs/1509.07270

We suggest a new type of hill-top inflation originating from the initial conditions in the form of the microcanonical density matrix for the cosmological model with a large number of quantum fields conformally coupled to gravity. Initial conditions for inflation are set up by cosmological instantons describing underbarrier oscillations in the vicinity of the inflaton potential maximum. These periodic oscillations of the inflaton field and cosmological scale factor are obtained within the approximation of two coupled oscillators subject to the slow roll regime in the Euclidean time. This regime is characterized by rapid oscillations of the scale factor on the background of a slowly varying inflaton, which guarantees smallness of slow roll parameters $\epsilon$ and $\eta$ of the following inflation stage. A hill-like shape of the inflaton potential is shown to be generated by logarithmic loop corrections to the tree-level asymptotically shift-invariant potential in the non-minimal Higgs inflation model and $R^2$-gravity. The solution to the problem of hierarchy between the Planckian scale and the inflation scale is discussed within the concept of conformal higher spin fields, which also suggests the mechanism bringing the model below the gravitational cutoff and, thus, protecting it from large graviton loop corrections.

Holography beyond conformal invariance and AdS isometry?

Barvinsky A. O.
23 Oct 2014 hep-th gr-qc math-ph math.MP arxiv.org/abs/1410.6316

We suggest that the principle of holographic duality can be extended beyond conformal invariance and AdS isometry. Such an extension is based on a special relation between functional determinants of the operators acting in the bulk and on its boundary, provided that the boundary operator represents the inverse propagators of the theory induced on the boundary by the Dirichlet boundary value problem from the bulk spacetime. This relation holds for operators of general spin-tensor structure on generic manifolds with boundaries irrespective of their background geometry and conformal invariance, and it apparently underlies numerous $O(N^0)$ tests of AdS/CFT correspondence, based on direct calculation of the bulk and boundary partition functions, Casimir energies and conformal anomalies. The generalized holographic duality is discussed within the concept of the "double-trace" deformation of the boundary theory, which is responsible in the case of large $N$ CFT coupled to the tower of higher spin gauge fields for the renormalization group flow between infrared and ultraviolet fixed points. Potential extension of this method beyond one-loop order is also briefly discussed.

Aspects of Nonlocality in Quantum Field Theory, Quantum Gravity and Cosmology

Barvinsky A. O.
26 Aug 2014 hep-th gr-qc math-ph math.MP arxiv.org/abs/1408.6112

This paper contains a collection of essays on nonlocal phenomena in quantum field theory, gravity and cosmology. Mechanisms of nonlocal contributions to the quantum effective action are discussed within the covariant perturbation expansion in field strengths and spacetime curvatures and the nonperturbative method based on the late time asymptotics of the heat kernel. Euclidean version of the Schwinger-Keldysh technique for quantum expectation values is presented as a special rule of obtaining the nonlocal effective equations of motion for the mean quantum field from the Euclidean effective action. This rule is applied to a new model of ghost free nonlocal cosmology which can generate the de Sitter stage of cosmological evolution at an arbitrary value of $\varLambda$ -- a model of dark energy with its scale played by the dynamical variable that can be fixed by a kind of a scaling symmetry breaking mechanism. This model is shown to interpolate between the superhorizon phase of gravity theory mediated by a scalar mode and the short distance general relativistic limit in a special frame which is related by a nonlocal conformal transformation to the original metric. The role of compactness and regularity of spacetime in the Euclidean version of the Schwinger-Keldysh technique is discussed.

Selection rules for the Wheeler-DeWitt equation in quantum cosmology

Barvinsky A. O., Kamenshchik A. Yu.
11 Dec 2013 gr-qc hep-th arxiv.org/abs/1312.3147

Selection of physically meaningful solutions of the Wheeler-DeWitt equation for the wavefunction in quantum cosmology, can be attained by a reduction of the theory to the sector of true physical degrees of freedom and their canonical quantization. The resulting physical wavefunction unitarily evolving in the time variable introduced within this reduction can then be raised to the level of the cosmological wavefunction in superspace of 3-metrics. We apply this technique in several simple minisuperspace models and discuss both at classical and quantum level physical reduction in {\em extrinsic} time -- the time variable determined in terms of extrinsic curvature. Only this extrinsic time gauge can be consistently used in vicinity of turning points and bounces where the scale factor reaches extremum. Since the 3-metric scale factor is canonically dual to extrinsic time variable, the transition from the physical wavefunction to the wavefunction in superspace represents a kind of the generalized Fourier transform. This transformation selects square integrable solutions of the Wheeler-DeWitt equation, which guarantee Hermiticity of canonical operators of the Dirac quantization scheme. Semiclassically this means that wavefunctions are represented by oscillating waves in classically allowed domains of superspace and exponentially fall off in classically forbidden (underbarrier) regions. This is explicitly demonstrated in flat FRW model with a scalar field having a constant negative potential and for the case of phantom scalar field with a positive potential. The FRW model of a scalar field with a vanishing potential does not lead to selection rules for solutions of the Wheeler-DeWitt equation, but this does not violate Hermiticity properties, because all these solutions are anyway of plane wave type and describe cosmological dynamics without turning points and bounces.

Dark matter as a ghost free conformal extension of Einstein theory

Barvinsky A. O.
13 Nov 2013 hep-th astro-ph.CO gr-qc arxiv.org/abs/1311.3111

We discuss ghost free models of the recently suggested mimetic dark matter theory. This theory is shown to be a conformal extension of Einstein general relativity. Dark matter originates from gauging out its local Weyl invariance as an extra degree of freedom which describes a potential flow of the pressureless perfect fluid. For a positive energy density of this fluid the theory is free of ghost instabilities, which gives strong preference to stable configurations with a positive scalar curvature and trace of the matter stress tensor. Instabilities caused by caustics of the geodesic flow, inherent in this model, serve as a motivation for an alternative conformal extension of Einstein theory, based on the generalized Proca vector field. A potential part of this field modifies the inflationary stage in cosmology, whereas its rotational part at the post inflationary epoch might simulate rotating flows of dark matter.