Loop-and-allied QG bibliography

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Science Advisor
Spin-foam model for gravity coupled to massless scalar field
Marcin Kisielowski, Jerzy Lewandowski
(Submitted on 16 Jul 2018)
A spin-foam model is derived from the canonical model of Loop Quantum Gravity coupled to a massless scalar field. We generalized to the full theory the scheme first proposed in the context of Loop Quantum Cosmology by Ashtekar, Campiglia and Henderson, later developed by Henderson, Rovelli, Vidotto and Wilson-Ewing.

Hamiltonian analysis of the BFCG formulation of General Relativity
Aleksandar Mikovic, Miguel A. Oliveira, Marko Vojinovic
(Submitted on 17 Jul 2018)
We perform the complete Hamiltonian analysis of the BFCG action for General Relativity. We determine all the constraints of the theory and classify them into the first-class and the second-class constraints. We also show how the canonical formulation of BFCG General Relativity reduces to the Einstein-Cartan and triad canonical formulations. The reduced phase space analysis also gives a 2-connection which is suitable for the construction of a spin-foam basis which will be a categorical generalization of the spin-network basis from Loop Quantum Gravity.

Deformations of Lorentzian Polyhedra: Kapovich-Millson phase space and SU(1,1) Intertwiners
Etera R. Livine
(Submitted on 18 Jul 2018)
We describe the Lorentzian version of the Kapovitch-Millson phase space for polyhedra with N faces. Starting with the Schwinger representation of the su(1,1) Lie algebra in terms of a pair of complex variables (or spinor), we define the phase space for a space-like vectors in the three-dimensional Minkowski space R1,2. Considering N copies of this space, quotiented by a closure constraint forcing the sum of those 3-vectors to vanish, we obtain the phase space for Lorentzian polyhedra with N faces whose normal vectors are space-like, up to Lorentz transformations. We identify a generating set of SU(1,1)-invariant observables, whose flow by the Poisson bracket generate both area-preserving and area-changing deformations. We further show that the area-preserving observables form a glN(R) Lie algebra and that they generate a GLN(R) action on Lorentzian polyhedra at fixed total area. That action is cyclic and all Lorentzian polyhedra can be obtained from a totally squashed polyhedron (with only two non-trivial faces) by a GLN(R) transformation. All those features carry on to the quantum level, where quantum Lorentzian polyhedra are defined as SU(1,1) intertwiners between unitary SU(1,1)-representations from the principal continuous series. Those SU(1,1)-intertwiners are the building blocks of spin network states in loop quantum gravity in 3+1 dimensions for time-like slicing and the present analysis applies to deformations of the quantum geometry of time-like boundaries in quantum gravity, which is especially relevant to the study of quasi-local observables and holographic duality.

Gravitational Fluctuations as an Alternative to Inflation
Herbert W. Hamber, Lu Heng Sunny Yu
(Submitted on 27 Jul 2018)
In this work we explore an explanation for the galaxy power spectrum P(k) based on the non-perturbative quantum field-theoretical treatment of Einstein gravity, instead of one based on inflation models. In particular the power spectral index, which represents the slope on the P(k) graph, can be related to critical scaling exponents derived from the Wilson renormalization group analysis, and one finds that the derived value fits favorably with the Sloan Digital Sky Survey telescope data. We then make use of the transfer functions, based only on the Boltzmann equations which describe states out of equilibrium, and Einstein's General Relativity, to extrapolate the power spectrum to the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) regime and find that the results fits rather well with current data. Our approach contrasts with the conventional explanation which uses inflation to generate the scale invariant Harrison-Zel'dovich spectrum on CMB scales, and uses the transfer function to extrapolate it to galaxy regime. The results we present here only assumes quantum field theory and Einstein's Gravity, and hence provides a competing explanation of the power spectrum, without relying on the assumptions usually associated with inflationary models.

Quantum fields in the background spacetime of a loop quantum gravity black hole
Flora Moulin, Killian Martineau, Julien Grain, Aurélien Barrau
(Submitted on 1 Aug 2018)
The description of black holes in loop quantum gravity is a hard and tricky task. In this article, we focus on a minisuperspace approach based on a polymerization procedure. We consider the resulting effective metric and study the propagation of quantum fields in this background. The cross sections for scalar particles and fermions are explicitly calculated. The radial equation of motion is also derived in full generality, beyond the specifically considered metric.

From Euclidean to Lorentzian Loop Quantum Gravity via a Positive Complexifier
Madhavan Varadarajan
(Submitted on 2 Aug 2018 (v1), last revised 5 Aug 2018 (this version, v2))
We construct a positive complexifier, differentiable almost everywhere on the classical phase space of real triads and SU(2) connections, which generates a Wick Transform from Euclidean to Lorentzian gravity everywhere except on a phase space set of measure zero. This Wick transform assigns an equal role to the self dual and anti-self dual Ashtekar variables in quantum theory. We argue that the appropriate quantum arena for an analysis of the properties of the Wick rotation is the diffeomorphism invariant Hilbert space of Loop Quantum Gravity (LQG) rather than its kinematic Hilbert space. We examine issues related to the construction, in quantum theory, of the positive complexifier as a positive operator on this diffeomorphism invariant Hilbert space. Assuming the existence of such an operator, we explore the possibility of identifying physical states in Lorentzian LQG as Wick rotated images of physical states in the Euclidean theory. Our considerations derive from Thiemann's remarkable proposal to define Lorentzian LQG from Euclidean LQG via the implementation in quantum theory of a phase space `Wick rotation' which maps real Ashtekar-Barbero variables to Ashtekar's complex, self dual variables.

A review on Loop Quantum Gravity
Pablo Antonio Moreno Casares
(Submitted on 3 Aug 2018)
The aim of this dissertation is to review `Loop Quantum Gravity', explaining the main structure of the theory and indicating its main open issues. We will develop the two main lines of research for the theory: the canonical quantization (first two chapters) and spin foams (third). The final chapter will be devoted to studying some of the problems of the theory and what things remain to be developed. In chapter 3 we will also include an example of a simple calculation done in the frame of LQG: Schwarzschild black hole entropy.

The no-boundary wave function for loop quantum cosmology
Suddhasattwa Brahma, Dong-han Yeom
(Submitted on 6 Aug 2018)
Proposing smooth initial conditions is one of the most important tasks in quantum cosmology. On the other hand, the low-energy effective action, appearing in the semiclassical path integral, can get nontrivial quantum corrections near classical singularities due to specific quantum gravity proposals. In this article, we combine the well-known no-boundary proposal for the wavefunction of the universe with quantum modifications coming from loop quantum cosmology (LQC). Remarkably, we find that the restriction of a `slow-roll' type potential in the original Hartle-Hawking proposal is considerably relaxed due to quantum geometry regularizations. Interestingly, the same effects responsible for singularity-resolution in LQC also end up expanding the allowed space of smooth initial conditions leading to an inflationary universe.


Gold Member
Pure states statistical mechanics: On its foundations and applications to quantum gravity
Fabio Anza
(Submitted on 1 Aug 2018)
The project concerns the interplay among quantum mechanics, statistical mechanics and thermodynamics, in isolated quantum systems. The underlying goal is to improve our understanding of the concept of thermal equilibrium in quantum systems. First, I investigated the role played by observables and measurements in the emergence of thermal behaviour. This led to a new notion of thermal equilibrium which is specific for a given observable, rather than for the whole state of the system. The equilibrium picture that emerges is a generalization of statistical mechanics in which we are not interested in the state of the system but only in the outcome of the measurement process. I investigated how this picture relates to one of the most promising approaches for the emergence of thermal behaviour in isolated quantum systems: the Eigenstate Thermalization Hypothesis. Then, I applied the results to study some equilibrium properties of many-body localised systems. Despite the localization phenomenon, which prevents thermalization of subsystems, I was able to show that we can still use the predictions of statistical mechanics to describe the equilibrium of some observables. Moreover, the intuition developed in the process led me to propose an experimentally accessible way to unravel the interacting nature of many-body localised systems. Second, I exploited the "Concentration of Measure" phenomenon to study the macroscopic properties of the basis states of Loop Quantum Gravity. These techniques were previously used to explain why the thermal behaviour in quantum systems is such an ubiquitous phenomenon, at the macroscopic scale. I focused on the local properties, their thermodynamic behaviour and interplay with the semiclassical limit. This was motivated by the necessity to understand, from a quantum gravity perspective, how and why a classical horizon exhibits thermal properties.

Towards conditions for black-hole singularity-resolution in asymptotically safe quantum gravity
Ademola Adeifeoba, Astrid Eichhorn, Alessia Platania
(Submitted on 10 Aug 2018)
We explore the fate of the curvature singularity of Schwarzschild (deSitter) black holes in asymptotically safe quantum gravity. Specifically, we upgrade the classical spacetime by including the running of the Newton coupling and cosmological constant. In this setting, the antiscreening character of the gravitational interaction can remove the singularity, yet a nonzero value of the cosmological constant in the ultraviolet appears to reintroduce it. We find hints that a finite value of the cosmological constant in the infrared is compatible with singularity resolution provided that the cosmological constant is driven to zero fast enough in the ultraviolet. We compare the corresponding bounds on the critical exponents to the literature.

On the possibility of laboratory evidence for quantum superposition of geometries
Marios Christodoulou, Carlo Rovelli
(Submitted on 17 Aug 2018)
We analyze the recent proposal of measuring a quantum gravity phenomenon in the lab by entangling two particles gravitationally. We give a generally covariant description of this phenomenon, where the relevant effect turns out to be a quantum superposition of proper times. We point out that measurement of this effect would count as evidence for quantum superposition of spacetime geometries. This interpretation addresses objections appeared in the literature. We observe that the effect sheds light on the Planck mass, and argue that it is very plausibly a real effect.

Detailed background dynamics and trans-planckian effects in loop quantum cosmology
Killian Martineau
(Submitted on 21 Aug 2018)
Cosmology appears as the most promising way to test and constrain quantum gravity theories. Loop quantum gravity is among the most advanced attempts to perform a non-perturbative quantization of general relativity. Its cosmological counterpart, loop quantum cosmology, has clear predictions both for the cosmological background and for the perturbations. In particular, the initial Big Bang singularity is replaced by a bounce due to quantum geometry effects. In this proceeding I will focus on new results obtained in loop quantum cosmology: i) the prediction of the duration of inflation as a function of all the unknown parameters of the model and ii) new primordial power spectra obtained with modified dispersion relations accounting for trans-planckian effects.

A status report on the phenomenology of black holes in loop quantum gravity: Evaporation, tunneling to white holes, dark matter and gravitational waves
Aurélien Barrau, Killian Martineau, Flora Moulin
(Submitted on 27 Aug 2018)
The understanding of black holes in loop quantum gravity is becoming increasingly accurate. This review focuses on the possible experimental or observational consequences of the underlying spinfoam structure of space-time. It adresses both the aspects associated with the Hawking evaporation and the ones due to the possible existence of a bounce. Finally, consequences for dark matter and gravitational waves are considered.

Abelian 2+1D Loop Quantum Gravity Coupled to a Scalar Field
Christoph Charles
(Submitted on 28 Aug 2018)
In order to study 3d loop quantum gravity coupled to matter, we consider a simplified model of abelian quantum gravity, the so-called U(1)^3 model. Abelian gravity coupled to a scalar field shares a lot of commonalities with parameterized field theories. We use this to develop an exact quantization of the model. This is used to discuss solutions to various problems that plague even the 4d theory, namely the definition of an inverse metric and the role of the choice of representation for the holonomy-flux algebra.

Phase transitions in group field theory: The Landau perspective
Andreas G. A. Pithis, Johannes Thürigen
(Submitted on 29 Aug 2018)
In various approaches to quantum gravity continuum spacetime is expected to emerge from discrete geometries through a phase transition. In group field theory, various indications for such a transition have recently been found but a complete understanding of such a phenomenon remains an open issue. In this work, we investigate the critical behavior of different group field theory models in the Gaussian approximation. Applying the Ginzburg criterion to quantify field fluctuations, we find that this approximation breaks down in the case of three-dimensional Euclidean quantum gravity as described by the dynamical Boulatov model on the compact group SU(2). This result is independent of the peculiar gauge symmetry and specific form of nonlocality of the model. On the contrary, we find that the Gaussian approximation is valid for a rank-1 GFT on the noncompact sector of fields on SL(2,R) related to Lorentzian models. Though a nonperturbative analysis is needed to settle the question of phase transitions for compact groups, the results may also indicate the necessity to consider group field theory on noncompact domains for phase transitions to occur.

Volume of 4-polytopes from bivectors
Benjamin Bahr
(Submitted on 29 Aug 2018)
In this article we prove a formula for the volume of 4-dimensional polytopes, in terms of their face bivectors, and the crossings within their boundary graph. This proves that the volume is an invariant of bivector-coloured graphs in ##S^3##.

Phenomenology of Quantum Reduced Loop Gravity in the isotropic cosmological sector
Emanuele Alesci, Aurélien Barrau, Gioele Botta, Killian Martineau, Gabriele Stagno
(Submitted on 30 Aug 2018)
Quantum reduced loop gravity is designed to consistently study symmetry reduced systems within the loop quantum gravity framework. In particular, it bridges the gap between the effective cosmological models of loop quantum cosmology and the full theory, addressing the dynamics before the minisuperspace reduction. This mostly preserves the graph structure and SU(2) quantum numbers. In this article, we study the phenomenological consequences of the isotropic sector of the theory, the so-called emergent bouncing universe model. In particular, the parameter space is scanned and we show that the number of inflationary e-folds is almost always higher than the observational lower-bound. We also compute the primordial tensor power spectrum and study its sensitivity upon the fundamental parameters used in the model.

Group field theory and its cosmology in a matter reference frame
Steffen Gielen
(Submitted on 30 Aug 2018 (v1), last revised 25 Sep 2018 (this version, v2))
While the equations of general relativity take the same form in any coordinate system, choosing a suitable set of coordinates is essential in any practical application. This poses a challenge in background-independent quantum gravity, where coordinates are not a priori available and need to be reconstructed from physical degrees of freedom. We review the general idea of coupling free scalar fields to gravity and using these scalars as a "matter reference frame." The resulting coordinate system is harmonic, i.e. it satisfies harmonic (de Donder) gauge. We then show how to introduce such matter reference frames in the group field theory approach to quantum gravity, where spacetime is emergent from a "condensate" of fundamental quantum degrees of freedom of geometry, and how to use matter coordinates to extract physics. We review recent results in homogeneous and inhomogeneous cosmology, and give a new application to the case of spherical symmetry. We find tentative evidence that spherically symmetric group field theory condensates defined in this setting can reproduce the near-horizon geometry of a Schwarzschild black hole.

Cosmological perturbations with inverse-volume corrections in loop quantum cosmology
Yu Han
(Submitted on 2 Sep 2018)
Although the cosmological perturbations with inverse-volume corrections from loop quantum cosmology have been studied using the anomaly free algebra approach in many literatures, there still remains an important issue that some counter terms in the perturbed constraints cannot be uniquely fixed on the spatially flat FRW background, which causes ambiguities in the perturbation equations. In this paper we show that this problem can be overcome by extending the anomaly free algebra to spatially closed FRW background. We find that a consistent deformed algebra can be obtained in the spatially closed case, and each counter term can be uniquely fixed in terms of the inverse-volume correction functions, then by taking the large ##r_o## limit, we recover the anomaly free Hamiltonian on the spatially flat background, using this Hamiltonian we obtain the gauge invariant cosmological perturbations for scalar, vector and tensor modes in the spatially flat case. Moreover, we also derive the quantum corrected Mukhanov equations, from which the scalar and tensor spectral indices with inverse-volume corrections are given. The results obtained in this paper show some differences with those in previous literatures.

A change of perspective: switching quantum reference frames via a perspective-neutral framework
Augustin Vanrietvelde, Philipp A Hoehn, Flaminia Giacomini, Esteban Castro-Ruiz
(Submitted on 3 Sep 2018)
Treating reference frames fundamentally as quantum systems is inevitable in quantum gravity and also in quantum foundations once considering laboratories as physical systems. Both fields thereby face the question of how to describe physics relative to quantum reference systems and how the descriptions relative to different such choices are related. Here, we exploit a fruitful interplay of ideas from both fields to begin developing a unifying approach to transformations among quantum reference systems that ultimately aims at encompassing both quantum and gravitational physics. In particular, using a gravity inspired symmetry principle, which enforces physical observables to be relational and leads to an inherent redundancy in the description, we develop a perspective-neutral structure, which contains all frame perspectives at once and via which they are changed. We show that taking the perspective of a specific frame amounts to a fixing of the symmetry related redundancies in both the classical and quantum theory and that changing perspective corresponds to a symmetry transformation. We implement this using the language of constrained systems, which naturally encodes symmetries. Within a simple one-dimensional model, we recover some of the quantum frame transformations of arXiv:1712.07207, embedding them in a perspective-neutral framework. Using them, we illustrate how entanglement and classicality of an observed system depend on the quantum frame perspective. Our operational language also inspires a new interpretation of Dirac and reduced quantized theories as perspective-neutral and perspectival quantum theories, respectively. In this light, we suggest a new take on the relation between a `quantum general covariance' and the diffeomorphism symmetry in quantum gravity.

Observation of thermal Hawking radiation at the Hawking temperature in an analogue black hole
Juan Ramón Muñoz de Nova, Katrine Golubkov, Victor I. Kolobov, Jeff Steinhauer
(Submitted on 4 Sep 2018 (v1), last revised 14 Sep 2018 (this version, v2))
We measure the correlation spectrum of the Hawking radiation emitted by an analogue black hole and find it to be thermal at the Hawking temperature implied by the analogue surface gravity. The Hawking radiation is in the regime of linear dispersion, in analogy with a real black hole. Furthermore, the radiation inside of the black hole is seen to be composed of negative-energy partners only. This work confirms the prediction of Hawking's theory regarding the value of the Hawking temperature, as well as the thermality of the spectrum. The thermality of Hawking radiation is the root of the information paradox. The correlations between the Hawking and partner particles imply that the analogue black hole has no analogue firewall.

Glimpses of Space-Time Beyond the Singularities Using Supercomputers
Parampreet Singh
(Submitted on 5 Sep 2018)
A fundamental problem of Einstein's theory of classical general relativity is the existence of singularities such as the big bang. All known laws of physics end at these boundaries of classical space-time. Thanks to recent developments in quantum gravity, supercomputers are now playing an important role in understanding the resolution of big bang and black hole singularities. Using supercomputers, explorations of the very genesis of space and time from quantum geometry are revealing a novel picture of what lies beyond classical singularities and the new physics of the birth of our universe.

A Local Resolution of the Problem of Time
Edward Anderson
(Submitted on 6 Sep 2018 (v1), last revised 24 Sep 2018 (this version, v2))
We here announce and outline a solution of this major and longstanding foundational problem, dealing with all seven of its heavily-interrelated local facets.


Gold Member
Non-adiabatic Evolution of Primordial Perturbations and non-Gaussinity in Hybrid Approach of Loop Quantum Cosmology
Qiang Wu, Tao Zhu, Anzhong Wang
(Submitted on 10 Sep 2018)
While loop quantum cosmology (LQC) predicts a robust quantum bounce of the background evolution of a Friedmann-Robertson-Walker (FRW) spacetime prior to the standard slow-roll inflation, whereby the big bang singularity is resolved, there are several different quantization procedures to cosmological perturbations, for instance, {\em the deformed algebra, dressed metric, and hybrid quantizations}. This paper devotes to study the quantum bounce effects of primordial perturbations in the hybrid approach. The main discrepancy of this approach is the effective positive mass at the quantum bounce for the evolution of the background that is dominated by the kinetic energy of the inflaton field at the bounce, while this mass is always nonpositive in the dressed metric approach. It is this positivity of the effective mass that violates the adiabatic evolution of primordial perturbations at the initial moments of the quantum bounce. With the assumption that the evolution of the background is dominated by the kinetic energy of the inflaton at the bounce, we find that the effective potentials for both scalar and tensor perturbations can be well approximately described by a P\"{o}schl-Teller (PT) potential, which allows us to find analytical solutions of perturbations, and from these analytical expressions we are able to study the non-adiabatic evolution of primordial perturbations in details. In particular, we derive their quantum bounce effects and investigate their observational constraints. In addition, the impacts of quantum bounce effects on the non-Gaussinity and their implication on the explanations of observed power asymmetry in CMB have also been explored.

Perturbations in Hybrid Loop Quantum Cosmology: Continuum Limit in Fourier Space
Beatriz Elizaga Navascués, Guillermo A. Mena Marugán
(Submitted on 11 Sep 2018)
We analyze the passage to a continuum limit of the mode spectrum of primordial perturbations around flat cosmological spacetimes in hybrid Loop Quantum Cosmology, showing that this limit can be reached even if one starts by considering a finite fiducial cell as spatial slice. We focus our attention on regimes in which the background cosmology follows the effective dynamics of Loop Quantum Cosmology, although we comment on extensions of our arguments beyond this regime, as well as to some formalisms other than the hybrid approach. Whereas the perturbed system can be described in an invariant way under changes of the fiducial volume using the standard variables of the improved prescription for Loop Quantum Cosmology, we show that the desired continuum limit can be established by means of scaling transformations of the physical volume when this volume grows unboundedly. These transformations lead to a model with a continuum of modes and independent of any scale of reference for the physical volume. For the sake of comparison, we also consider an alternative road to the continuum in Fourier space that has been employed in geometrodynamics and is based on the use of scaling transformations of the fiducial volume, together with variables that are independent of them.

Anomaly freedom in perturbative models of Euclidean loop quantum gravity
Jian-Pin Wu, Martin Bojowald, Yongge Ma
(Submitted on 12 Sep 2018)
Euclidean gravity provides an interesting test system for an analysis of cosmological perturbations in an effective Hamiltonian constraint with holonomy modifications from loop quantum gravity. This paper presents a discussion of scalar modes, with a specific form of the holonomy modification function derived from a general expansion in a connection formulation. Compared with some previous models, the constraint brackets are deformed in a different and more restricted way. A general comparison of anomaly-free brackets in various effective and operator versions shows overall consistency between different approaches.

Switching quantum reference frames in the N-body problem and the absence of global relational perspectives
Augustin Vanrietvelde, Philipp A Hoehn, Flaminia Giacomini
(Submitted on 13 Sep 2018)
Given the importance of quantum reference systems to both quantum and gravitational physics, it is pertinent to develop a systematic method for switching between the descriptions of physics relative to different choices of quantum reference systems, which is valid in both fields. Here, we continue with such a unifying approach, begun in arxiv:1809.00556, whose key ingredients is a gravity-inspired symmetry principle, which enforces physics to be relational and leads, thanks to gauge related redundancies, to a perspective-neutral structure which contains all frame choices at once and via which frame perspectives can be consistently switched. Formulated in the language of constrained systems, the perspective-neutral structure turns out to be the constraint surface classically and the gauge invariant Hilbert space in the Dirac quantized theory. By contrast, a perspective relative to a specific frame corresponds to a gauge choice and the associated reduced phase and Hilbert space. Quantum reference frame switches thereby amount to a symmetry transformation. In the quantum theory, they require a transformation that takes one from the Dirac to a reduced quantum theory and we show that it amounts to a trivialization of the constraints and a subsequent projection onto the classical gauge fixing conditions. We illustrate this method in the relational N-body problem with rotational and translational symmetry. This model is particularly interesting because it features the Gribov problem so that globally valid gauge fixing conditions are impossible which, in turn, implies also that globally valid relational frame perspectives are absent in both the classical and quantum theory. These challenges notwithstanding, we exhibit how one can systematically construct the quantum reference frame transformations for the three-body problem.

Time in quantum theory, the Wheeler-DeWitt equation and the Born-Oppenheimer approximation
Alexander Yu. Kamenshchik, Alessandro Tronconi, Tereza Vardanyan, Giovanni Venturi
(Submitted on 21 Sep 2018)
We compare two different approaches to the treatment of the Wheeler-DeWitt equation and the introduction of time in quantum cosmology. One approach is based on the gauge-fixing procedure in theories with first-class constraints, while the other uses the Born-Oppenheimer method. We apply both to a very simple cosmological model and observe that they give similar predictions. We also discuss the problem of time in non-relativistic quantum mechanics and some questions concerning the correspondence between classical and quantum theories.

Hiding the cosmological constant
S. Carlip
(Submitted on 21 Sep 2018)
Perhaps the expectations of quantum field theory are right, and the universe really does have a very large cosmological constant. I show that if one does not assume homogeneity or an arrow of time at the Planck scale, a large class of initial data for general relativity exhibits expansions and shears that are enormous at small scales, but quickly average to zero macroscopically. For an infinite subset of this data, the averaged spatial curvature is also small, and has a vanishing time derivative. Subsequent evolution is more complex, but I argue that quantum fluctuations should preserve these properties. The resulting picture is a version of Wheeler's "spacetime foam," in which the cosmological constant produces high curvature at the Planck scale but is hidden at observable scales.

A quantum gravity extension to the Mixmaster dynamics
Edward Wilson-Ewing
(Submitted on 25 Sep 2018)
In the loop quantum cosmology effective dynamics for the vacuum Bianchi type I and type IX space-times, a non-singular bounce replaces the classical singularity. The bounce can be approximated as an instantaneous transition between two classical vacuum Bianchi I solutions, with simple transition rules relating the solutions before and after the bounce: the evolution of the mean logarithmic scale factor is reversed, while the shape parameters are unaffected. As a result, the loop quantum cosmology effective dynamics for the vacuum Bianchi IX space-time can be approximated by a sequence of classical vacuum Bianchi I solutions, following the usual Mixmaster transition maps in the classical regime, and undergoing a bounce with this new transition rule in the Planck regime.

The Vacuum State of Primordial Fluctuations in Hybrid Loop Quantum Cosmology
Beatriz Elizaga Navascués, Daniel Martín de Blas, Guillermo A. Mena Marugán
(Submitted on 26 Sep 2018)
We investigate the role played by the vacuum of the primordial fluctuations in hybrid Loop Quantum Cosmology. We consider scenarios where the inflaton potential is a mass term and the unperturbed quantum geometry is governed by the effective dynamics of Loop Quantum Cosmology. In this situation, the phenomenologically interesting solutions have a preinflationary regime where the kinetic energy of the inflaton dominates over the potential. For these kind of solutions, we show that the primordial power spectra depend strongly on the choice of vacuum. We study in detail the case of adiabatic states of low order and the non-oscillating vacuum introduced by Mart\'in de Blas and Olmedo, all imposed at the bounce. The adiabatic spectra are typically suppressed at large scales, and display rapid oscillations with an increase of power at intermediate scales. In the non-oscillating vacuum, there is power suppression for large scales, but the rapid oscillations are absent. We argue that the oscillations are due to the imposition of initial adiabatic conditions in the region of kinetic dominance, and that they would also be present in General Relativity. Finally, we discuss the sensitivity of our results to changes of the initial time and other data of the model.

On the Empirical Consequences of the AdS/CFT Duality
Radin Dardashti, Richard Dawid, Sean Gryb, Karim Thébault
(Submitted on 27 Sep 2018)
We provide an analysis of the empirical consequences of the AdS/CFT duality with reference to the application of the duality in a fundamental theory, effective theory and instrumental context. Analysis of the first two contexts is intended to serve as a guide to the potential empirical and ontological status of gauge/gravity dualities as descriptions of actual physics at the Planck scale. The third context is directly connected to the use of AdS/CFT to describe real quark-gluon plasmas. In the latter context, we find that neither of the two duals are confirmed by the empirical data.

The BKL scenario, infrared renormalization, and quantum cosmology
Martin Bojowald
(Submitted on 29 Sep 2018)
A discussion of inhomogeneity is indispensable to understand quantum cosmology, even if one uses the dynamics of homogeneous geometries as a first approximation. While a full quantization of inhomogeneous gravity is not available, a broad framework of effective field theory provides important ingredients for quantum cosmology. Such a setting also allows one to take into account lessons from the Belinski-Khalatnikov-Lifshitz (BKL) scenario. Based on several new ingredients, this article presents conditions on various parameters and mathematical constructions that appear in minisuperspace models. Examples from different approaches demonstrate their restrictive nature.

A relational Hamiltonian for group field theory
Edward Wilson-Ewing
(Submitted on 2 Oct 2018)
Using a massless scalar field as a clock variable, the Legendre transform of the group field theory Lagrangian gives a relational Hamiltonian. In the classical theory, it is natural to define 'equal relational time' Poisson brackets, where 'equal time' corresponds to equal values of the scalar field clock. The quantum theory can then be defined by imposing 'equal relational time' commutation relations for the fundamental operators of the theory, with the states being elements of a Fock space with their evolution determined by the relational Hamiltonian operator. A particularly interesting family of states are condensates, as they are expected to correspond to the cosmological sector of group field theory. For the relational Hamiltonian considered in this paper, the coarse-grained dynamics of a simple type of condensate states agree exactly with the Friedmann equations in the classical limit, and also include quantum gravity corrections that ensure the big-bang singularity is replaced by a bounce.

Cosmological Implications of the Bekenstein Bound
Tom Banks, Willy Fischler
(Submitted on 3 Oct 2018 (v1), last revised 9 Oct 2018 (this version, v2))
A brief review of "Holographic Space-Time" in the light of the seminal contributions of Jacob Bekenstein.

Black hole entropy and the Bekenstein bound
Raphael Bousso
(Submitted on 3 Oct 2018)
I share some memories and offer a personal perspective on Jacob Bekenstein's legacy, focussing on black hole entropy and the Bekenstein bound. I summarize a number of fascinating recent developments that grew out of Bekenstein's pioneering contributions, from the Ryu-Takayanagi proposal to the Quantum Null Energy Condition.

How perturbative is quantum gravity?
Astrid Eichhorn, Stefan Lippoldt, Jan M. Pawlowski, Manuel Reichert, Marc Schiffer
(Submitted on 5 Oct 2018)
We explore asymptotic safety of gravity-matter systems, discovering indications for a near-perturbative nature of these systems in the ultraviolet. Our results are based on the dynamical emergence of effective universality at the asymptotically safe fixed point. Our findings support the conjecture that an asymptotically safe completion of the Standard Model with gravity could be realized in a near-perturbative setting.

How to switch between relational quantum clocks
Philipp A Hoehn, Augustin Vanrietvelde
(Submitted on 9 Oct 2018)
Every clock is a physical system and thereby ultimately quantum. A naturally arising question is thus how to describe time evolution relative to quantum clocks and, specifically, how the dynamics relative to different quantum clocks are related. This is a particularly pressing issue in view of the multiple choice facet of the problem of time in quantum gravity, which posits that there is no distinguished choice of internal clock in generic general relativistic systems and that different choices lead to inequivalent quantum theories. Exploiting a recent unifying approach to switching quantum reference systems (arXiv:1809.00556, arXiv:1809:05093), we exhibit a systematic method for switching between different clock choices in the quantum theory. We illustrate it by means of the parametrized particle, which, like gravity, features a Hamiltonian constraint. We explicitly switch between the quantum evolution relative to the non-relativistic time variable and that relative to the particle's position, which requires carefully regularizing the zero-modes in the so-called time-of-arrival observable. While this toy model is simple, our approach is general and, in particular, directly amenable to quantum cosmology. It proceeds by systematically linking the reduced quantum theories relative to different clock choices via the clock-choice-neutral Dirac quantized theory, in analogy to coordinate changes on a manifold. This method overcomes the multiple choice problem here, showing that it is actually a multiple choice feature of the complete relational quantum theory, taken as the conjunction of Dirac and reduced quantized theories. Precisely this conjunction permits to consistently switch between different temporal reference systems, which is a prerequisite for a quantum notion of general covariance.
White Holes as Remnants: A Surprising Scenario for the End of a Black Hole
Eugenio Bianchi, Marios Christodoulou, Fabio D'Ambrosio, Hal M. Haggard, Carlo Rovelli
(Submitted on 12 Feb 2018 (v1), last revised 17 Mar 2018 (this version, v2))
Quantum tunneling of a black hole into a white hole provides a model for the full life cycle of a black hole. The white hole acts as a long-lived remnant, solving the black-hole information paradox. The remnant solution of the paradox has long been viewed with suspicion, mostly because remnants seemed to be such exotic objects. We point out that (i) established physics includes objects with precisely the required properties for remnants: white holes with small masses but large finite interiors; (ii) non-perturbative quantum-gravity indicates that a black hole tunnels precisely into such a white hole, at the end of its evaporation. We address the objections to the existence of white-hole remnants, discuss their stability, and show how the notions of entropy relevant in this context allow them to evade several no-go arguments. A black hole's formation, evaporation, tunneling to a white hole, and final slow decay, form a unitary process that does not violate any known physics.

Statistical equilibrium of tetrahedra from maximum entropy principle
Goffredo Chirco, Isha Kotecha, Daniele Oriti
(Submitted on 1 Nov 2018)
Discrete formulations of (quantum) gravity in four spacetime dimensions build space out of tetrahedra. We investigate a statistical mechanical system of tetrahedra from a many-body point of view based on non-local, combinatorial gluing constraints that are modelled as multi-particle interactions. We focus on Gibbs equilibrium states, constructed using Jaynes' principle of constrained maximisation of entropy, which has been shown recently to play an important role in characterising equilibrium in background independent systems. We apply this principle first to classical systems of many tetrahedra using different examples of geometrically motivated constraints. Then for a system of quantum tetrahedra, we show that the quantum statistical partition function of a Gibbs state with respect to some constraint operator can be reinterpreted as a partition function for a quantum field theory of tetrahedra, taking the form of a group field theory.

Light Cone Black Holes
Tommaso De Lorenzo, Alejandro Perez
(Submitted on 8 Nov 2018)
When probed with conformally invariant matter fields, light cones in Minkowski spacetime satisfy thermodynamical relations which are the analog of those satisfied by stationary black holes coupled to standard matter fields. These properties stem from the fact that light cones are conformal Killing horizons stationary with respect to observers following the radial conformal Killing fields in flat spacetime. The four laws of light cone thermodynamics relate notions such as (conformal) temperature, (conformal) surface gravity, (conformal) energy and a conformally invariant notion related to area change. These quantities do not admit a direct physical interpretation in flat spacetime. However, they become the usual thermodynamical quantities when Minkowski is mapped, via a Weyl transformation, to a target spacetime where the conformal Killing field becomes a proper Killing field. In this paper we study the properties of such spacetimes. The simplest realisation turns out to be the Bertotti-Robinson solution, which is known to encode the near horizon geometry of near extremal and extremal charged black holes. The analogy between light cones in flat space and black hole horizons is therefore strengthened. The construction works in arbitrary dimensions; in two dimensions one recovers the Jackiv-Teitelboim black hole of dilaton gravity. Other interesting realisations are also presented.

Quantum insights on Primordial Black Holes as Dark Matter
Francesca Vidotto
(Submitted on 19 Nov 2018)
A recent understanding on how quantum effects may affect black-hole evolution opens new scenarios for dark matter, in connection with the presence of black holes in the very early universe. Quantum fluctuations of the geometry allow for black holes to decay into white holes via a tunnelling. This process yields to an explosion and possibly to a long remnant phase, that cures the information paradox. Primordial black holes undergoing this evolution constitute a peculiar kind of decaying dark matter, whose lifetime depends on their mass M and can be as short as M2. As smaller black holes explode earlier, the resulting signal have a peculiar fluence-distance relation. I discuss the different emission channels that can be expected from the explosion (sub-millimetre, radio, TeV) and their detection challenges. In particular, one of these channels produces an observed wavelength that scales with the redshift following a unique flattened wavelength-distance function, leaving a signature also in the resulting diffuse emission. I conclude presenting the first insights on the cosmological constraints, concerning both the explosive phase and the subsequent remnant phase.

Holographic description of boundary gravitons in (3+1) dimensions
Seth K. Asante, Bianca Dittrich, Hal M. Haggard
(Submitted on 27 Nov 2018)
Gravity is uniquely situated in between classical topological field theories and standard local field theories. This can be seen in the the quasi-local nature of gravitational observables, but is nowhere more apparent than in gravity's holographic formulation. Holography holds promise for simplifying computations in quantum gravity. While holographic descriptions of three-dimensional spacetimes and of spacetimes with a negative cosmological constant are well-developed, a complete boundary description of zero curvature, four-dimensional spacetime is not currently available. Building on previous work in three-dimensions, we provide a new route to four-dimensional holography and its boundary gravitons. Using Regge calculus linearized around a flat Euclidean background with the topology of a solid hyper-torus, we obtain the effective action for a dual boundary theory which describes the dynamics of the boundary gravitons. Remarkably, in the continuum limit and at large radii this boundary theory is local and closely analogous to the corresponding result in three-dimensions. The boundary effective action has a degenerate kinetic term that leads to singularities in the one-loop partition function that are independent of the discretization. These results establish a rich boundary dynamics for four-dimensional flat holography.

On the possibility of experimental detection of the discreteness of time
Marios Christodoulou, Carlo Rovelli
(Submitted on 4 Dec 2018 (v1), last revised 8 Dec 2018 (this version, v2))
The Bose-Marletto-Vedral experiment tests a non-relativistic quantum effect due to a gravitational interaction. It has received attention because it may soon be within observational reach in the lab. We observe here that: (i) in relativistic language the experiment tests an interference effect between proper-time intervals; (ii) the relevant difference of proper times is of the order of the Planck time if the masses of the particles in the experiment are of the order of the Planck mass (micrograms); (iii) the experiment might open a window on the structure of time at the Planck scale: if time differences are discrete at this scale ---as quantum gravity research may suggest--- the Planckian discreteness of time could show up as quantum levels of a measurable entanglement entropy.

Quantum gravity and black hole spin in gravitational wave observations: a test of the Bekenstein-Hawking entropy
Eugenio Bianchi, Anuradha Gupta, Hal M. Haggard, B. S. Sathyaprakash
(Submitted on 12 Dec 2018)
Black hole entropy is a robust prediction of quantum gravity with no observational test to date. We use the Bekenstein-Hawking entropy formula to determine the probability distribution of the spin of black holes at equilibrium in the microcanonical ensemble. We argue that this ensemble is relevant for black holes formed in the early universe and predicts the existence of a population of black holes with zero spin. Observations of such a population at LIGO, Virgo, and future gravitational wave observatories would provide the first experimental test of the statistical nature of black hole entropy.

Tullio Regge's legacy: Regge calculus and discrete gravity
John W. Barrett, Daniele Oriti, Ruth M. Williams
(Submitted on 14 Dec 2018)
The review paper "Discrete Structures in Physics", written in 2000, describes how Regge's discretization of Einstein's theory has been applied in classical relativity and quantum gravity. Here, developments since 2000 are reviewed briefly, with particular emphasis on progress in quantum gravity through spin foam models and group field theories.

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