3 years ago

Quantum Break-Time of de Sitter.

Cesar Gomez, Gia Dvali, Sebastian Zell

The quantum break-time of a system is the time-scale after which its true quantum evolution departs from the classical mean field evolution. For capturing it, a quantum resolution of the classical background - e.g., in terms of a coherent state - is required. In this paper, we first consider a simple scalar model with anharmonic oscillations and derive its quantum break-time. Next, we apply these ideas to de Sitter space. We formulate a simple model of a spin-2 field, which for some time reproduces the de Sitter metric and simultaneously allows for its well-defined representation as quantum coherent state of gravitons. The mean occupation number $N$ of background gravitons turns out to be equal to the de Sitter horizon area in Planck units, while their frequency is given by the de Sitter Hubble parameter. In the semi-classical limit, we show that the model reproduces all the known properties of de Sitter, such as the redshift of probe particles and thermal Gibbons-Hawking radiation, all in the language of quantum $S$-matrix scatterings and decays of coherent state gravitons. Most importantly, this framework allows to capture the $1/N$-effects to which the usual semi-classical treatment is blind. They violate the de Sitter symmetry and lead to a finite quantum break-time of the de Sitter state equal to the de Sitter radius times $N$. We also point out that the quantum-break time is inversely proportional to the number of particle species in the theory. Thus, the quantum break-time imposes the following consistency condition: Older and species-richer universes must have smaller cosmological constants. For the maximal, phenomenologically acceptable number of species, the observed cosmological constant would saturate this bound if our Universe were $10^{100}$ years old in its entire classical history.

Publisher URL: http://arxiv.org/abs/1701.08776

DOI: arXiv:1701.08776v2

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