Tunneling wave function of the universe. II. the backreaction problem

Alexander Vilenkin, Masaki Yamada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


The tunneling wave function of the Universe is calculated exactly for a de Sitter minisuperspace model with a massless conformally coupled scalar field, both by solving the Wheeler-DeWitt equation and by evaluating the Lorentzian path integral. The same wave function is found in both approaches. The backreaction of quantum field fluctuations on the scale factor amounts to a constant renormalization of the vacuum energy density. This is in contrast to the recent suggestion of Feldbrugge et al. that the backreaction should diverge when the scale factor gets small, a→0. Similar results are found for a massive scalar field in the limit of a large mass. We also verified that the tunneling wave function can be expressed as a transition amplitude from a universe of vanishing size with the scalar field in the state of Euclidean vacuum, as was suggested in our earlier work.

Original languageEnglish
Article number066010
JournalPhysical Review D
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Mar 15


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