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Title: Cosmological consequences of Quantum Gravity proposals
Author: De Cesare, Marco
ISNI:       0000 0004 6498 116X
Awarding Body: King's College London
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2017
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In this thesis, we study the implications of Quantum Gravity models for the dynamics of spacetime and the ensuing departures from classical General Relativity. The main focus is on cosmological applications, particularly the impact of quantum gravitational effects on the dynamics of a homogenous and isotropic cosmological background. Our interest lies in the consequences for the evolution of the early universe and singularity resolution, as well as in the possibility of providing an alternative explanation for dark matter and dark energy in the late universe. The thesis is divided in two parts, dedicated to alternative (and complementary) ways of tackling the problem of Quantum Gravity. The first part is concerned with cosmological applications of background independent approaches to Quantum Gravity, as well as minisuperspace models in Quantum Cosmology. Particularly relevant in this work is the Group Field Theory approach, which we use to study the effective dynamics of the emergent universe from a full theory of Quantum Gravity (i.e. without symmetry reduction). We consider both approaches based on loop quantisation and on quantum geometrodynamics. In the second part, modified gravity theories are introduced as tools to provide an effective description of quantum gravitational effects, and show how these may lead to the introduction of new degrees of freedom and symmetries. Particularly relevant in this respect is local conformal invariance, which finds a natural realisation in the framework of Weyl geometry. We construct a modified theory of gravity based on such symmetry principle, and argue that new fields in the extended gravitational sector may play the role of dark matter. New degrees of freedom are also natural in models entailing fundamental ‘constants’ that vary over cosmic history. Finally, we discuss prospects for future work and point at directions for the derivation of realistic cosmological models from Quantum Gravity candidates.
Supervisor: Sakellariadou, Maria Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available