## Wavefunction of the universe: Reparametrization invariance and field redefinitions of the minisuperspace path integral

##### Date

2021-11-03##### Publisher

Elsevier##### Edition

115600##### Source

Nuclear Physics B##### Volume

973##### Issue

12##### Pages

115600.1-115600.47Google Scholar check

##### Metadata

Show full item record##### Abstract

We consider the Hartle–Hawking wavefunction of the universe defined as a Euclidean path integral that satisfies the “no-boundary proposal.” We focus on the simplest minisuperspace model that comprises a single scale factor degree of freedom and a positive cosmological constant. The model can be seen as a non-linear σ-model with a line-segment base. We reduce the path integral over the lapse function to an integral over the proper length of the base and use diffeomorphism-invariant measures for the ghosts and the scale factor. As a result, the gauge-fixed path integral is independent of the gauge. However, we point out that all field redefinitions of the scale factor degree of freedom yield different choices of gauge-invariant path-integral measures. For each prescription, we compute the wavefunction at the semi-classical level and find a different result. We resolve in each case the ambiguity in the form of the Wheeler–DeWitt equation at this level of approximation. By imposing that the Hamiltonians associated with these possibly distinct quantum theories are Hermitian, we determine the inner products of the corresponding Hilbert spaces and find that they lead to a universal norm, at least semi-classically. Quantum predictions are thus independent of the prescription at this level of approximation. Finally, all wavefunctions of the Hilbert spaces of the minisuperspace model we consider turn out to be non-normalizable, including the no-boundary states.