Lorenzo Battarra

Lorenzo Battarra
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Lorenzo Battarra

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High Energy Physics - Theory (10)
General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology (8)
Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (4)

Publications Authored By Lorenzo Battarra

We study the process of quantum tunnelling in self-interacting scalar field theories with non-minimal coupling to gravity. In these theories gravitational instantons can develop a neck -- a feature prohibited in theories with minimal coupling, and describing the nucleation of geometries containing a wormhole. We also clarify the relationship of neck geometries to violations of the null energy condition. Read More

We study the process of quantum tunnelling in scalar-tensor theories in which the scalar field is non-minimally coupled to gravity. In these theories gravitational instantons can deviate substantially from sphericity and can in fact develop a neck - a feature prohibited in theories with minimal coupling. Such instantons with necks lead to the materialisation of bubble geometries containing a wormhole region. Read More

The no-boundary proposal provides a compelling theory for the initial conditions of our universe. We study the implications of such initial conditions for ekpyrotic and cyclic cosmologies. These cosmologies allow for the existence of a new type of "ekpyrotic instanton", which describes the creation of a universe in the ekpyrotic contraction phase. Read More

We present a new class of complex instantons in the context of ekpyrotic cosmological theories. These instantons, which satisfy the "no-boundary" boundary conditions, describe the emergence of a classical, contracting universe out of nothing. The ekpyrotic attractor is essential in guaranteeing an evolution towards a real, Lorentzian history of the universe. Read More

We study the propagation of super-horizon cosmological perturbations in a non-singular bounce spacetime. The model we consider combines a ghost condensate with a Galileon term in order to induce a ghost-free bounce. Our calculation is performed in harmonic gauge, which ensures that the linearized equations of motion remain well-defined and non-singular throughout. Read More

We examine the processes of quantum squeezing and decoherence of density perturbations produced during a slowly contracting ekpyrotic phase in which entropic perturbations are converted to curvature perturbations before the bounce to an expanding phase. During the generation phase, the entropic fluctuations evolve into a highly squeezed quantum state, analogous to the evolution of inflationary perturbations. Subsequently, during the conversion phase, quantum coherence is lost very efficiently due to the interactions of entropy and adiabatic modes. Read More

We perform a detailed study of the existence and the properties of O(4)-invariant instanton solutions in Einstein-scalar theory in the presence of flat potential barriers, i.e. barriers where the second derivative of the potential is small at the top of the barrier. Read More

We investigate in detail the properties of oscillating instanton solutions discussed recently in the literature. We find that the solutions with N nodes contain exactly N homogeneous negative modes in their spectrum of linear perturbations. The existence of extra negative modes for the N > 1 solutions suggest that they are not final state physical objects resulting from tunneling, but rather unstable intermediate thermal configurations. Read More

We study the spectrum of scalar $l=0$ quasi-normal frequencies of Anti-de-Sitter hairy black holes in four and five dimensional designer gravity theories of the Einstein-scalar type, arising as consistent truncations of $ \mathcal{N} = 8$ gauged supergravity. In the dual field theory, such hairy black holes represent thermal states in which the operator corresponding to the bulk scalar field is condensed, due to the multi-trace deformation associated with non-standard boundary conditions. We show that, in a particular class of models, the effective potential describing the vacua of the deformed dual theory can be identified, at large values of the condensate, with the deformation plus the conformal coupling of the condensate to the curvature of the boundary geometry. Read More

We numerically study the dual field theory evolution of five-dimensional asymptotically anti-de Sitter solutions of supergravity that develop cosmological singularities. The dual theory is an unstable deformation of the N = 4 gauge theory on R $\times$ S3, and the big crunch singularity in the bulk occurs when a boundary scalar field runs to infinity. Consistent quantum evolution requires one imposes boundary conditions at infinity. Read More