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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 571 (9 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.
Spin Foam Models for Quantum Gravity
, 2008
"... In this article we review the present status of the spin foam formulation of nonperturbative (background independent) quantum gravity. The article is divided in two parts. In the first part we present a general introduction to the main ideas emphasizing their motivations from various perspectives. R ..."
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Cited by 127 (8 self)
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In this article we review the present status of the spin foam formulation of nonperturbative (background independent) quantum gravity. The article is divided in two parts. In the first part we present a general introduction to the main ideas emphasizing their motivations from various perspectives. Riemannian 3dimensional gravity is used as a simple example to illustrate conceptual issues and the main goals of the approach. The main features of the various existing models for 4dimensional gravity are also presented here. We conclude with a discussion of important questions to be addressed in four dimensions (gauge invariance, discretization independence, etc.). In the second part we concentrate on the definition of the BarrettCrane model. We present the main results obtained in this framework from a critical perspective. Finally we review the combinatorial formulation of spin foam models based on the dual group field theory technology. We present the BarrettCrane model in this framework and review the finiteness results obtained for both its Riemannian as well
Quantum gravity with a positive cosmological constant
, 2002
"... A quantum theory of gravity is described in the case of a positive cosmological constant in 3 + 1 dimensions. Both old and new results are described, which support the case that loop quantum gravity provides a satisfactory quantum theory of gravity. These include the existence of a ground state, dis ..."
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Cited by 59 (10 self)
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A quantum theory of gravity is described in the case of a positive cosmological constant in 3 + 1 dimensions. Both old and new results are described, which support the case that loop quantum gravity provides a satisfactory quantum theory of gravity. These include the existence of a ground state, discoverd by Kodama, which both is an exact solution to the constraints of quantum gravity and has a semiclassical limit which is deSitter spacetime. The long wavelength excitations of this state are studied and are shown to reproduce both gravitons and, when matter is included, quantum field theory on deSitter spacetime. Furthermore, one may derive directly from the WheelerdeWitt equation corrections to the energymomentum relations for matter fields of the form E 2 = p 2 +m 2 +αlPlE 3 +... where α is a computable dimensionless constant. This may lead in the next few years to experimental tests of the theory. To study the excitations of the Kodama state exactly requires the use of the spin network representation, which is quantum deformed due to the cosmological constant. The theory may be developed within a single horizon, and the boundary states described exactly in terms of a boundary ChernSimons theory. The Bekenstein bound is recovered and the N bound of Banks is given a background independent explanation. The paper is written as an introduction to loop quantum gravity, requiring no prior knowledge of the subject. The deep relationship between quantum gravity and topological field theory is stressed throughout.
Quantum gravity in terms of topological observables
"... We recast the action principle of four dimensional General Relativity so that it becomes amenable for perturbation theory which doesn’t break general covariance. The coupling constant becomes dimensionless (GNewtonΛ) and extremely small 10 −120. We give an expression for the generating functional of ..."
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Cited by 46 (6 self)
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We recast the action principle of four dimensional General Relativity so that it becomes amenable for perturbation theory which doesn’t break general covariance. The coupling constant becomes dimensionless (GNewtonΛ) and extremely small 10 −120. We give an expression for the generating functional of perturbation theory. We show that the partition function of quantum General Relativity can be expressed as an expectation value of a certain topologically invariant observable. This sets up a framework in which quantum gravity can be studied perturbatively using the techniques of topological quantum field theory. 1
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 45 (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 Semiclassical Limit of Loop Quantum Cosmology
, 2001
"... The continuum and semiclassical limits of isotropic, spatially flat loop quantum cosmology are discussed, with an emphasis on the role played by the Barbero–Immirzi parameter γ in controlling spacetime discreteness. In this way, standard quantum cosmology is shown to be the simultaneous limit γ → 0 ..."
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Cited by 27 (20 self)
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The continuum and semiclassical limits of isotropic, spatially flat loop quantum cosmology are discussed, with an emphasis on the role played by the Barbero–Immirzi parameter γ in controlling spacetime discreteness. In this way, standard quantum cosmology is shown to be the simultaneous limit γ → 0, j → ∞ of loop quantum cosmology. Here, j is a label of the volume eigenvalues, and the simultaneous limit is technically the same as the classical limit � → 0, l → ∞ of angular momentum in quantum mechanics. Possible lessons for semiclassical states at the dynamical level in the full theory of quantum geometry are mentioned.
Loop quantum gravity: An outside view
, 2005
"... We review aspects of loop quantum gravity in a pedagogical manner, with the aim of enabling a precise but critical assessment of its achievements so far. We emphasise that the offshell (‘strong’) closure of the constraint algebra is a crucial test of quantum spacetime covariance, and thereby of th ..."
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Cited by 24 (0 self)
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We review aspects of loop quantum gravity in a pedagogical manner, with the aim of enabling a precise but critical assessment of its achievements so far. We emphasise that the offshell (‘strong’) closure of the constraint algebra is a crucial test of quantum spacetime covariance, and thereby of the consistency, of the theory. Special attention is paid to the appearance of a large number of ambiguities, in particular in the formulation of the Hamiltonian constraint. Developing suitable approximation methods to establish a connection with classical gravity on the one hand, and with the physics of elementary particles on the other, remains a major challenge. Contents 1 Key questions 2