The Quantum Configuration Space of Loop Quantum Cosmology
Jose Manuel Velhinho
"The article gives an account of several aspects of the space known as the Bohr compactification of the line, featuring as the quantum configuration space in loop quantum cosmology, as well as of the corresponding configuration space realization of the so-called polymer representation. Analogies with loop quantum gravity are explored, providing an introduction to (part of) the mathematical structure of loop quantum gravity, in a technically simpler context."
Fundamentalist physics: why Dark Energy is bad for Astronomy
Simon D.M. White
Essay commissioned for publication in Reports on Progress in Physics. 19 pages including 3 figures
"Astronomers carry out observations to explore the diverse processes and objects which populate our Universe. High-energy physicists carry out experiments to approach the Fundamental Theory underlying space, time and matter. Dark Energy is a unique link between them, reflecting deep aspects of the Fundamental Theory, yet apparently accessible only through astronomical observation. Large sections of the two communities have therefore converged in support of astronomical projects to constrain Dark Energy. In this essay I argue that this convergence can be damaging for astronomy. The two communities have different methodologies and different scientific cultures. By uncritically adopting the values of an alien system, astronomers risk undermining the foundations of their own current success and endangering the future vitality of their field. Dark Energy is undeniably an interesting problem to attack through astronomical observation, but it is one of many and not necessarily the one where significant progress is most likely to follow a major investment of resources."