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- Particle Propagators from Discrete Spacetime

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08040043

How sure are you that spacetime is continuous? One of the more radical approaches to quantum gravity, causal set theory, models spacetime as a discrete structure: a causal set. Allowing the possibility that spacetime is discrete then how should we do physics on it? Carrying over the usual continuum descriptions in terms of differential equations seems like a difficult option. This talk begins with a brief introduction to causal sets then describes an approach to modelling the propagation of scalar particles on a causal set. We obtain the continuum causal retarded propagator by summing quantum mechanical amplitudes assigned to paths in the causal set - a kind of \'discrete path integral\' that agrees with the continuum result. The propagator so obtained should serve as a building block towards a model for quantum field theory on a causal set.

©2012 Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics