Friday, June 28, 2013

1306.6541 (Ali Kaya)

In-in formalism, pseudo-instantons and rethinking quantum cosmology    [PDF]

Ali Kaya
Unlike flat space quantum field theories that focus on scattering amplitudes, the main observables in quantum cosmology are correlation functions. The systematic way of calculating correlators is called in-in formalism, which requires only a single asymptotic region, i.e. past infinity. The rules in perturbation theory and the path integral measure are very different for in-in and in-out formalisms, and thus the results which are standard in one approach may not necessarily hold in the other one. We show that stationary phase approximation works completely different for a scalar in-in path integral. Hence, in a cosmological background there are solutions, pseudo-instantons, that allow tunneling between locally stable vacua even in infinite volume, which is counterintuitive from an in-out perspective. We argue that various familiar notions of in-out formalism must be reexamined in the in-in formalism, which might have important consequences for quantum cosmology.
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