Regular Article - Theoretical Physics
Quantum cosmology of the flat universe via closed real-time path integral
State Key Laboratory of Electroanalytical Chemistry, Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 130022, Changchun, China
2 Department of Chemistry and Department of Physics and Astronomy, State University of New York at Stony Brook, 11794, Stony Brook, NY, USA
Accepted: 5 December 2022
Published online: 26 December 2022
Quantum cosmology is crucial to understand the evolution of the early universe. Despite significant progress, challenges still remain. For example, the role of time in quantum cosmology is unclear. Furthermore, the influence of the environment on the evolution of the quantum universe is challenging. In this work, we studied the evolution of the quantum universe non-perturbatively using the closed real-time path integral. The environments coupled to the quantum universe being considered are the radiation, the non-relativistic matter, or the dark matter. We evaluated the influence functional of the massless scalar field coupled with the flat FRW universe. We studied the evolution of the quantum universe by setting the initial state of spacetime as a Gaussian wave packet. In different scenarios, we show that the classical trajectory of the universe is consistent with the quantum evolution of the wave packet. The coherence, the absolute quantum fluctuation and the Gibbs entropy all monotonically increase with time, yet the relative quantum fluctuation decreases with time. We show that for a given size of the radiation dominated universe, the lower temperature corresponds to a more quantum universe. We find that the minimal coupling of the free massless scalar field with the flat FRW spacetime generally gives rise to the memory characterized via non-Markovian correlations. Finally, we show that under higher radiation temperatures, a small universe has a higher chance of a transition to a bigger universe.
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