This series consists of talks in the area of Quantum Gravity.
The general boundary state formulation is a key tool for extracting the semiclassical limit of nonpertubative theories of quantum gravity. In this talk I will discuss how this formalism works in the context of four-dimensional quantum Regge calculus with a general triangulation. A Gaussian boundary state selects a classical internal solution and peaks the path integral on it. As a result boundary observables, in particular the two-point function, can be computed order by order in a semiclassical asymptotic expansion.
The standard Hamiltonian formulation of (first order) gravity breaks manifest covariance both in its retention of the Lorentz group as a local gauge group and in its discrepant treatment of spacelike and timelike diffeomorphisms. Here we promote more covariant alternatives for canonical quantum gravity that address each of these problems, and discuss the implications for both the classical and the quantum theory of gravity. By retaining the full local Lorentz group, one gains significant insight into the geometric and algebraic properties of the Hamiltonian dynamics.
During the last two decades Alain Connes developed Noncommutative Geometry, which allows to unify two of the basic theories of modern physics: General Relativity and the Standard Model of Particle Physics. In the noncommutative framework the Higgs boson, which had previously to be put in by hand, and many of the ad hoc features of the standard model, appear in a natural way. The aim of my talk is to motivate this unification from basic physical principles and to give a flavour of its derivation.
The speculation that Dark Energy can be explained by the backreaction of present inhomogeneities on the evolution of the background cosmology has been increasingly debated in the recent literature. We demonstrate quantitively that the backreaction of linear perturbations on the Friedmann equations is small but is nevertheless non-vanishing. This indicates the need for an improved averaging procedure capable of averaging tensor quantities in a generally covariant way.
Graphity models are characterized by configuration spaces in which states correspond to graphs and Hamiltonians that depend on local properties of graphs such as degrees of vertices and numbers of shortcycles. It has been argued that such models can be useful in studying how an extended geometry might emerge from a background independent dynamical system. As statistical systems, graphity models can be studied analytically by estimating their partition functions or numerically by Monte Carlo simulations. In this talk I will present recent results obtained using both of these approaches.
This talk is concerned with the existence of spectral triples in quantum gravity. I will review the construction of a spectral triple over a functional space of connections. Here, the *-algebra is generated by holonomy loops and the Dirac type operator has the form of a global functional derivation operator. The spectral triple encodes the Poisson structure of General Relativity when formulated in terms of Ashtekars variables.
For quantum gravity, the requirement of metric positivity suggests the use of noncanonical, affine kinematical field operators. In view of gravity\'s set of open classical first class constraints, quantization before reduction is appropriate, leading to affine commutation relations and affine coherent states. The anomaly in the quantized constraints may be accommodated within the projection operator approach, which treats first and second class quantum constraints in an equal fashion.