A direct correspondence of quantum mechanics as a minisuperspace model for a self-interacting scalar quantum-field theory is established by computing, in several models, the infrared contributions to 1-loop effective potentials of Coleman-Weinberg type. A minisuperspace approximation rather than truncation is thereby obtained. By this approximation, the spatial averaging scale of minisuperspace models is identified with an infrared scale (but not a regulator or cutoff) delimiting the modes included in the minisuperspace model. Some versions of the models studied here have discrete space or modifications of the Hamiltonian expected from proposals of loop quantum gravity. They shed light on the question of how minisuperspace models of quantum cosmology can capture features of full quantum gravity. While it is shown that modifications of the Hamiltonian can be well described by minisuperspace truncations, some related phenomena such as signature change, confirmed and clarified here for modified scalar field theories, require at least a perturbative treatment of inhomogeneity beyond a strict minisuperspace model. The new methods suggest a systematic extension of minisuperspace models by a canonical effective formulation of perturbative inhomogeneity.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)