This video is worth watching. http://pirsa.org/08120001/ Quantum Nature of the Big bang in Simple Models. Abhay Ashtekar Perimeter video with slides PDF 3 December 2008 "According to general relativity, space-time ends at singularities and classical physics just stops. In particular, the big bang is regarded as The Beginning. However, general relativity is incomplete because it ignores quantum effects. Through simple models, I will illustrate how the quantum nature of space-time geometry resolves the big bang singularity. Quantum physics does not stop there. Indeed, quantum space-times can be vastly larger than what general relativity had us believe, with unforeseen physical effects in the deep Planck regime." It's a well-organized informative talk giving an up-to-date picture of quantum cosmology research into the process surrounding the big bang. Ashtekar is a leader in this field and a mentor to others. He knows most of the people involved and what the latest results are. However he talks fast, so you may need to listen to some parts over again. To watch and hear a part over again, go to "slide list" and find the slide that was up during that part, then click on "play from slide" (the button right below the thumbnail of the slide). It is easy once you've done it a couple of times. It's a Perimeter colloquium talk. Actually one of two Ashtekar gave this week. The second talk is about quantum black hole models.