Explorations of Covariant Canonical Gravity

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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. As an example, we discuss the possibility of computing the internal spin angular momentum of asymptotically flat spacetimes, which may lead to insight into the nature of spin in quantum gravity. By treating the spacelike and timelike diffeomorphisms on equal footing, using techniques from geometric quantization we find a new representation of the quantum constraints where the total Hamiltonian is kinematical in the same vein as the Gauss and diffeomorphism constraints. Finally, we discuss the possibility of a manifestly 4-dimensional symplectic form on the Lagrangian phase space.