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Quantum Gravity
, 2004
"... We describe the basic assumptions and key results of loop quantum gravity, which is a background independent approach to quantum gravity. The emphasis is on the basic physical principles and how one deduces predictions from them, at a level suitable for physicists in other areas such as string theor ..."
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Cited by 572 (11 self)
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We describe the basic assumptions and key results of loop quantum gravity, which is a background independent approach to quantum gravity. The emphasis is on the basic physical principles and how one deduces predictions from them, at a level suitable for physicists in other areas such as string theory, cosmology, particle physics, astrophysics and condensed matter physics. No details are given, but references are provided to guide the interested reader to the literature. The present state of knowledge is summarized in a list of 35 key results on topics including the hamiltonian and path integral quantizations, coupling to matter, extensions to supergravity and higher dimensional theories, as well as applications to black holes, cosmology and Plank scale phenomenology. We describe the near term prospects for observational tests of quantum theories of gravity and the expectations that loop quantum gravity may provide predictions for their outcomes. Finally, we provide answers to frequently asked questions and a list of key open problems.
Loop quantum cosmology
, 2006
"... Quantum gravity is expected to be necessary in order to understand situations where classical general relativity breaks down. In particular in cosmology one has to deal with initial singularities, i.e. the fact that the backward evolution of a classical spacetime inevitably comes to an end after a ..."
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Cited by 48 (11 self)
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Quantum gravity is expected to be necessary in order to understand situations where classical general relativity breaks down. In particular in cosmology one has to deal with initial singularities, i.e. the fact that the backward evolution of a classical spacetime inevitably comes to an end after a finite amount of proper time. This presents a breakdown of the classical picture and requires an extended theory for a meaningful description. Since small length scales and high curvatures are involved, quantum effects must play a role. Not only the singularity itself but also the surrounding spacetime is then modified. One particular realization is loop quantum cosmology, an application of loop quantum gravity to homogeneous systems, which removes classical singularities. Its implications can be studied at different levels. Main effects are introduced into effective classical equations which allow to avoid interpretational problems of quantum theory. They give rise to new kinds of early universe phenomenology with applications to inflation and cyclic models. To resolve classical singularities and to understand the structure of geometry around them, the quantum description is necessary. Classical evolution is then replaced by a difference equation for a wave function which allows to extend spacetime beyond classical singularities. One main question is how these homogeneous scenarios are related to full loop quantum gravity, which can be dealt with at the level of distributional symmetric states. Finally, the new structure of spacetime arising in loop quantum gravity and its application to cosmology sheds new light on more general issues such as time.
The case for background independence
, 2005
"... The aim of this paper is to explain carefully the arguments behind the assertion that the correct quantum theory of gravity must be background independent. We begin by recounting how the debate over whether quantum gravity must be background independent is a continuation of a longstanding argument ..."
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Cited by 37 (1 self)
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The aim of this paper is to explain carefully the arguments behind the assertion that the correct quantum theory of gravity must be background independent. We begin by recounting how the debate over whether quantum gravity must be background independent is a continuation of a longstanding argument in the history of physics and philosophy over whether space and time are relational or absolute. This leads to a careful statement of what physicists mean when we speak of background independence. Given this we can characterize the precise sense in which general relativity is a background independent theory. The leading background independent approaches to quantum gravity are then discussed, including causal set models, loop quantum gravity and dynamical triangulations and their main achievements are summarized along with the problems that remain open. Some first attempts to cast string/M theory into a background independent formulation are also mentioned. The relational/absolute debate has implications also for other issues such as unification and how the parameters of the standard models of physics and cosmology are to be explained. The recent issues concerning the string theory landscape are reviewed and it is argued that they can only be resolved within the context of a background independent formulation. Finally, we review some recent proposals to make quantum theory more relational. This is partly based on the text of a talk given to a meeting of the British Association for the Philosophy of Science, in July 2004, under the title ”The relational idea in physics and cosmology.”
When do measures on the space of connections support the triad operators of loop quantum gravity
, 2002
"... In this work we investigate the question, under what conditions Hilbert spaces that are induced by measures on the space of generalized connections carry a representation of certain nonAbelian analogues of the electric flux. We give the problem a precise mathematical formulation and start its inves ..."
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Cited by 33 (9 self)
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In this work we investigate the question, under what conditions Hilbert spaces that are induced by measures on the space of generalized connections carry a representation of certain nonAbelian analogues of the electric flux. We give the problem a precise mathematical formulation and start its investigation. For the technically simple case of U(1) as gauge group, we establish a number of “nogo theorems ” asserting that for certain classes of measures, the flux operators can not be represented on the corresponding Hilbert spaces. The fluxobservables we consider play an important role in loop quantum gravity since they can be defined without recurse to a background geometry, and they might also be of interest in the general context of quantization of nonAbelian gauge theories. 1
Quantum spin dynamics. VIII. The master constraint
 Class. Quant.Grav
"... Recently the Master Constraint Programme (MCP) for Loop Quantum Gravity (LQG) was launched which replaces the infinite number of Hamiltonian constraints by a single Master constraint. The MCP is designed to overcome the complications associated with the non – Lie – algebra structure of the Dirac alg ..."
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Cited by 20 (7 self)
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Recently the Master Constraint Programme (MCP) for Loop Quantum Gravity (LQG) was launched which replaces the infinite number of Hamiltonian constraints by a single Master constraint. The MCP is designed to overcome the complications associated with the non – Lie – algebra structure of the Dirac algebra of Hamiltonian constraints and was successfully tested in various field theory models. For the case of 3+1 gravity itself, so far only a positive quadratic form for the Master Constraint Operator was derived. In this paper we close this gap and prove that the quadratic form is closable and thus stems from a unique self – adjoint Master Constraint Operator. The proof rests on a simple feature of the general pattern according to which Hamiltonian constraints in LQG are constructed and thus extends to arbitrary matter coupling and holds for any metric signature. With this result the existence of a physical Hilbert space for LQG is established by standard spectral analysis.
Semiclassical analysis of the Loop Quantum Gravity volume operator: I. Flux Coherent States
, 2008
"... The volume operator plays a pivotal role for the quantum dynamics of Loop Quantum Gravity (LQG), both in the full theory and in truncated models adapted to cosmological situations coined Loop Quantum Cosmology (LQC). It is therefore crucial to check whether its semiclassical limit coincides with the ..."
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Cited by 19 (4 self)
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The volume operator plays a pivotal role for the quantum dynamics of Loop Quantum Gravity (LQG), both in the full theory and in truncated models adapted to cosmological situations coined Loop Quantum Cosmology (LQC). It is therefore crucial to check whether its semiclassical limit coincides with the classical volume operator plus quantum corrections. In the present article we investigate this question by generalizing and employing previously defined coherent states for LQG which derive from a cylindrically consistently defined complexifier operator which is the quantization of a known classical function. These coherent states are not normalizable due to the non separability of the LQG Hilbert space but they define uniquely define cut – off states depending on a finite graph. The result of our analysis is that the expectation value of the volume operator with respect to coherent states depending on a graph with only n−valent verticies reproduces its classical value at the phase space point at which the coherent state is peaked only if n = 6. In other words, the semiclassical sector of LQG defined by those states is described by graphs with cubic topology! This has some bearing on current
Fundamental structure of loop quantum gravity
 Int. J. Mod. Phys
, 2007
"... In recent twenty years, loop quantum gravity, a background independent approach to unify general relativity and quantum mechanics, has been widely investigated. The aim of loop quantum gravity is to construct a mathematically rigorous, background independent, nonperturbative quantum theory for Loren ..."
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Cited by 14 (6 self)
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In recent twenty years, loop quantum gravity, a background independent approach to unify general relativity and quantum mechanics, has been widely investigated. The aim of loop quantum gravity is to construct a mathematically rigorous, background independent, nonperturbative quantum theory for Lorentzian gravitational field on four dimensional manifold. In the approach, the principles of quantum mechanics are combined with those of general relativity naturally. Such a combination gives us a picture of, so called, quantum Riemannian geometry, which is discrete at fundamental scale. Imposing the quantum constraints in analogy from the classical ones, the quantum dynamics of gravity is being studied as one of the most important issues in loop quantum gravity. On the other hand, the semiclassical analysis is being carried out to test the classical limit of the quantum theory. In this review, the fundamental structure of loop quantum gravity is
Generic predictions of quantum theories of gravity,” [arXiv:hepth/0605052]; A. Ashtekar and
, 2004
"... I discuss generic consequences (sometimes called “soft predictions”) of a class of background independent quantum theories of spacetime called causal spin network theories. These are theories whose kinematics and dynamics is based on the evolution of labeled graphs, by local moves, such as in loop q ..."
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Cited by 13 (1 self)
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I discuss generic consequences (sometimes called “soft predictions”) of a class of background independent quantum theories of spacetime called causal spin network theories. These are theories whose kinematics and dynamics is based on the evolution of labeled graphs, by local moves, such as in loop quantum gravity and spin foam models. Some generic consequences are well known, including the discreteness of quantum geometry, the elimination of spacetime singularities, the entropy of black hole and cosmological horizons and the fact that positive cosmological constant spacetimes are hot. Within the last few years three possible generic consequences have come to light. These are 1) Deformed special relativity as the symmetry of the ground state, 2) Elementary particles as coherent excitations of quantum geometry, 3) Locality is disordered. I discuss some possible experimental consequences of each. For inclusion in ”Approaches to Quantum Gravity toward a new understanding of space, time, and matter”, edited by D. Oriti, to be published by Cambridge University Press.