Final Report Summary - HOLOQOSMOS (Holographic Quantum Cosmology)
Our current theory of cosmology is largely based on classical physics. This theory breaks down at the Big Bang, which means it does not describe how our universe emerged and why it is the way it is. The central goal of this project has been to work towards a quantum theory of the primordial universe which does hold at the Big Bang. We have done so by drawing on recent advances in string theory, most notably its models capable of handling physical situations similar to the big bang in which time is emergent. Important insights that follow from our new `model of the Big Bang’ include that our large, classical universe has come into existence with a burst of inflation - a phase of rapid expansion which transforms the primordial quantum fuzziness into the seeds of the large-scale structures we observe today. Our model also appears to predict that our universe, despite this early phase of inflation, is spatially finite and not infinite as was generally believed. In doing so we offer a new and promising avenue to get a grip on the multiverse, in the sense of turning it into a theoretically coherent and observationally verifiable cosmology.