LQC and string theory combined in one theory

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Hi all,

I have been reading a bit upon LQC and from what I understand this theory of QG makes some fundamentally different assumptions from string theory but has there any work been done that relates these two theories? I tried to look on google but no good results turned up there, ergo, I thought asking here might be a good idea. Also an extension to that question: how can one use/generalize the results proven/shown in LQC into string theory, I have something in mind for a research project but the results are shown to work out nicely in LQC, is there any possible way for me to use those over in the framework of String/M theory? From what I can tell, I don't think that's possible, but then again my knowledge is limited there might be a trick using dualities or something of that nature to do so. Thanks for your time.

- Vikram
 

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  • #2
marcus
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It is not a high priority among LQG folks. LQG offers a quantum spacetime to build other stuff on, so the aim is to be able to have a more fundamental picture of space time that is not the usual Euclidean or Lorentzian framework or a fixed smooth manifold.

So as an exercise you could try to "do strings" on a LQG basis, instead of on the more usual differential manifold or flat space, but it might be more rewarding to do something else. Noncommutative Geometry has a version of the standard model and a number of people have been trying to do NCG on a LQG basis.
Also just plain field theory or QFT might be rewarding to figure out how to do.

But people have tried what you say! Thiemann had a paper doing strings with LQG in 2004. It had limited success.
http://arxiv.org/abs/hep-th/0401172
Then in 2009 three other people tried. Fairbairn, Noui, Sardelli
And there are some papers by Nieto I haven't looked at, along these lines:
http://arxiv.org/find/hep-th/1/au:+Nieto_J/0/1/0/all/0/1.

String research has not been making much progress lately and many of the researchers seem to have gotten out of the unification business and into other stringy and nonstringy research lines. This is not a criticism of stringy math. Interesting math but just hasnt been producing much new physics lately. So from the LQG standpoint it is not too interesting to implement string on LQG spacetime. There are other things with higher priority, although a few people do work on it now and then.

The most interesting recent work I know of is the 2009 paper I mentioned:
http://arxiv.org/abs/0908.0953
Canonical Analysis of Algebraic String Actions
Winston J. Fairbairn, Karim Noui, Francesco Sardelli
(Submitted on 6 Aug 2009 (v1), last revised 12 Sep 2009 (this version, v2))
"We investigate the canonical aspects of the algebraic first order formulation of strings introduced two decades ago by Balachandran and collaborators. We slightly enlarge the Lagrangian framework and show the existence of a self-dual formulation and of an Immirzi-type parameter reminiscent of four-dimensional first order gravity. We perform a full Hamiltonian analysis of the self-dual case: we extract the first class constraints and construct the Dirac bracket associated to the second class constraints. The first class constraints contain the diffeomorphisms algebra on the world-sheet, and the coordinates are shown to be non-commutative with respect to the Dirac bracket. The Hamilton equations in a particular gauge are shown to reproduce the wave equation for the string coordinates. In the general, non-self-dual case, we also explicit the first class constraints of the system and show that, unlike the self-dual formulation, the theory admits an extra propagating degree of freedom than the two degrees of freedom of conventional string theory. This prevents the general algebraic string from being strictly equivalent to the Nambu-Goto string."

==quote from introduction of Fairbairn Noui Sardelli==
A few years ago, Thiemann [15] reconsidered the Nambu-Goto string and proposed a quantisation of it using the techniques of loop quantum gravity (LQG) [16]. He showed that the LQG techniques, based on background independent quantisation, provides in particular a quantisation of the bosonic string in any dimensions, i.e., there is no need of critical dimensions for the quantum theory to be consistent. This result has sparked off some discussions [17] and certainly deserves to be understood deeper. We think that the algebraic formulation of the bosonic string is a better starting point to test the LQG techniques than the Nambu-Goto string for it admits a lot of similarities with the Ashtekar-Immirzi-Barbero-Holst formulation [18], [19] of general relativity. It is a first order formulation and possesses an Immirzi-type parameter. In fact, the main motivation of this article is to open an arena for a background independent quantisation of the bosonic string and to compare it to the standard Fock quantisation. Our goal is to pursue the line of research initiated by Thiemann in the context of the algebraic formulation of strings.
==endquote==

Ashtekar Barbero Immirzi Holst are core LQG names. This is definitely what you were talking about. Application of core fundamental LQG techniques to implement some type of strings.
 
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  • #3
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Thanks for your reply marcus, as I was waiting for someone to reply, I got Thiemann's paper that you had mentioned, it seems like an attractive idea. I am looking into the second paper that you mentioned but essentially what I want to be able to do is to use the work that you mentioned to make a bridge (metaphorically), first I want to show that this one concept in LQC is independent of the framework being used (strings or LQG) and then use the "Canonical Analysis of Algebraic String Actions" to construct the bridge and show that the concept I proved earlier to be independent can be written in terms of string theory, I am not explicitly going to write it in terms of string theory, just show that it can be done. Currently I am reconsidering the fact that do I even need to show the model-independence, if a concept can be translated using the bridge, doesn't that mean the concept is model-independent? or perhaps it may be that I am only looking at 2 models, other models may not be able to use what I show. Do you think this sounds plausible??
 
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  • #4
marcus
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...Do you think this sounds plausible??
I am not one to judge. I don't know enough about you or just what model and bridge you have in mind.

Do you have a local newspaper or magazine where you live that might publish a piece of writing such as you plan?

If you live in India, you should realize that there are important LQG experts there, at several institutes and universities. You could get the email address and write to one or two of them asking their advice.

I can get you names, but cannot advise. To me the very idea of doing string with LQG tools seems extremely strange. There is a lot of serious work to be done with LQG. Making a side trip to teach "string tricks" to LQG seems like a waste of time. There is no single clearly formulated string theory that reproduces known particle physics, AFAIK.

But if you want, say what country, e.g. India, and I can find some names. There is also a google map of the centers of LQG research where you might get advice.
 
  • #5
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Just curious, how did you know I am from India? actually I am living in the US right now, but anyhow I understand that there's no strict paper that one can refer to and say that's string theory. I would like to present this idea to you in its entirety so do you think we can talk over email? I don't want to just state what I have in mind on an online forum as anyone with access to google can see what it is. What do you think? I think its rather rude to just send someone a pm without asking them :)
 
  • #6
marcus
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Vikram, I can be of no use to you. I do all my QG discussing in this open forum. Shortage of time makes it necessary to compartmentalize like that. I do hardly anything with PM. As a retired person with notsogood eyesight there is only time to keep up with the QG and cosmology research literature and talk about it here.

All I can think of to do is write email to an Indian LQG I have in mind, let me get the name. Here is a list and map, maybe someone is close to you:

A list of QG researchers worldwide, mostly LQG but some other:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_loop_quantum_gravity_researchers
Francesca's LQG world map:
http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=U...985216139270436.0004843830d27f3e6c50e&t=h&z=0

Here are selected outreach articles at Abhay Ashtekar's Institute for Gravitation and the Cosmos, he is one of the founders of LQG but he would be too important to write email to as a amateur, I fear.
http://gravity.psu.edu/outreach/index.shtml

There is a man at Chennai named Ganashyam Date who has held a LQG school and written up his lectures:

Chennai basic LQG/LQC Lectures http://arxiv.org/pdf/1004.2952
(Ganashyam Date gave a series of beginning lectures on LQG which explain certain things most clearly--only 72 pages, not a textbook but could be used as supplemental reading.)

India is strong in QG. they even have an international QG conference there every 3 years. There are many experts in various places. If you write to G. Date and he does not respond. tell me and I will think of someone else. I think they should be excited that someone who is from India but who lives abroad would still write back to them for advice about a QG idea.

Madhavan Varadarajan at the Raman Research Institute at Bangalore also comes to mind. Ashtekar just co-authored a paper with him, if I remember right. But the top are not always the best to write for advice---they may be too busy.
 
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  • #7
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I have been reading a bit upon LQC and from what I understand this theory of QG makes some fundamentally different assumptions from string theory but has there any work been done that relates these two theories?
It is a bit like asking: "since lattice gauge theory is a way to regularize gauge theories, and string theory describes gauge theories as well, incl their dual relationship with branes and gravity, so why does one not combine lattice gauge theory and string theory?"

The answer is that the goals are different; lattice gauge theory is more of a non-perturbative discretizing technique for studying certain features like confinement and hadron masses, on the other hand it obscures other issues, so it is rarely used in a broader context. The situation of LQG is somewhat analogous, one difference being that lattice gauge theory supposedly provides a more rigorous non-perturbative definition of the theory, while LQG seems still far from being well-defined.
 
  • #8
tom.stoer
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... while LQG seems still far from being well-defined.
Why?

I mean I would agree with "far from unique", but it seems to provide a rather consistent framework. Perhaps it's like "gauge theory" (there is not one single gauge theory and perhaps one should not expect that there is one LQG)
 
  • #9
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Why?

I mean I would agree with "far from unique", but it seems to provide a rather consistent framework. Perhaps it's like "gauge theory" (there is not one single gauge theory and perhaps one should not expect that there is one LQG)
Well read the article of Alexandrov and Roche, for example. It's really very far from the rigor by which lattice gauge theory can be defined. But I would expect this to improve over time. With regard to uniqueness, indeed there are plenty of different schools that partly contradict each other, so it seems even the experts cannot agree with each other as to what the right aproach is....thats quite different to gauge theory, which is uniquely defined once the gauge group is given, isn't it?
 
  • #10
tom.stoer
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Looking at (e.g.) Thiemann's papers I would say that they are rather close to mathematical rigour; of course this is not standard (it wasn't for gauge theory, either - when it comes to quantization). Well, yes, it's still work in progress.
 
  • #11
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Looking at (e.g.) Thiemann's papers I would say that they are rather close to mathematical rigour; of course this is not standard (it wasn't for gauge theory, either - when it comes to quantization). Well, yes, it's still work in progress.
Yes work in progress, like any other approach. But one shouldn't turn things around and make LQG appear as if it would be close to an established theory. As to the quantization, this approach does not even correctly reproduce the harmonic oscillator (whose correct quantization is pretty well experimentally established, to say the least). So that's why few people believe in this non-standard quantization.
 
  • #12
marcus
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... With regard to uniqueness, indeed there are plenty of different schools that partly contradict each other, ...
Let's try to be more precise about this. Maybe we can all agree at least on the number and kind of schools :biggrin:

I would be interested to know how Tom sees it, I see currently TWO main schools. Or rather it is not schools but two separate theories being developed. The LQG researchers can jump around freely and work on this or that idea--postdocs have been bouncing back and forth between Marseille and Erlangen and PennState and Potsdam and Nottingham. They cross-collaborate on papers. I don't think you can put the people into strict camps.

But there are definitely two main theories. Incidentally one of them is not discussed in the Alexandrov-Roche paper cited (I looked in vain for the most basic definitions and equations). I guess Alexandrov's "CLQG" theory (which we hear a lot about in the A-R paper) might be considered a third theory. But since it is a solo effort at this point I will just count the main two theories.

One theory is most recently presented here by Livine:
1101.5061 "The Spinfoam Framework for Quantum Gravity"
and in a definitive review article 1012.4707 by Rovelli "Loop Quantum Gravity..."

It has a clear formulation in three equations. (1, 2, 3) in the definitive December review.
It appears to be empirically falsifiable, at least some phenomenologists think so, because the bounce should produce features in CMB polarization one can find or not find. There are still plenty of things to work out in this new LQG formulation---Livine discusses several at length, Rovelli lists many open questions.

The other main theory is a canonical quantization of General Relativity that I believe is being pursued by Thomas Thiemann at Erlangen. There are other co-workers but I think his would be the most representative name. A former student of Thiemann named Hanno Sahlmann has written a pedagogical introduction and has several times been the main presenter at workshops/conferences (so to speak in Thiemann's place.) I don't know what to pick as a recent survey or review describing this theory. It would be nice to be able to designate a definitive status report (by Thiemann if possible) and I would welcome suggestions. Is his book still a fair account of the current state of the theory?

I don't know if this picture of there being two main LQG theories is acceptable to everybody. To me it seems a somewhat objective view of how the field actually divides up. For instance, if you go by books, there are two main books. Rovelli 2004 and Thiemann 2007. Rovelli has now reformulated, 1012.4707 is his definitive presentation, in effect replacing the 2004 book. There are already many papers based on the new formulation.

Maybe Thiemann's 2007 book is still definitive of the theory he and his associates are developing. Another major figure, Ashtekar, currently works on the cosmology application. Has recently been linking up with Rovelli's version by way of spinfoam cosmology---there's growing collaboration and two PennState PhD's are going postdoc to Marseille this year. LQG cosmology research is linked to both the current main theories.
 
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  • #13
tom.stoer
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As to the quantization, this approach does not even correctly reproduce the harmonic oscillator (whose correct quantization is pretty well experimentally established, to say the least). So that's why few people believe in this non-standard quantization.
There are good reasons why in the context of GR this quantuzation makes sense (e.g. diff. inv.) I can't remember the details, so I have to find some references.

And there must be a different approach to quantization b/c standard approaches seem to fail. Any theory of QG has some new ingredient: string theory, SUGRA, LQG. As long as we have no experimental guidelines we cannot know which one is correct - unfortunately.
 
  • #14
marcus
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..., while LQG seems still far from being well-defined.
Your information seems to be out of date. LQG is mathematically welldefined. See the extensive (pedagogical) review by Livine http://arxiv.org/pdf/1101.5061
or the more condensed survey by Rovelli http://arxiv.org/pdf/1012.4707

Why?

I mean I would agree with "far from unique", but it seems to provide a rather consistent framework. Perhaps it's like "gauge theory" (there is not one single gauge theory and perhaps one should not expect that there is one LQG)
I would agree with Tom. There is no reason to say that LQG is not well-defined but one can certainly say that it is "not unique". There are several versions! It has both the combinatorial spinfoam version presented in the two recent review papers, which is exquisitely and concisely defined, and it also has an earlier canonical development which was discussed in the Alexandrov Roche paper, for example, and which is also described in Livine's January 2011 I referred to. Livine gives, in my view, quite an adequate account of the problems with the earlier canonical development.

Well read the article of Alexandrov and Roche, for example...
That does not discuss the combinatorial spinfoam formulation, which appeared in 2010, in several papers, but was not covered by A&R. I don't think you can say "not welldefined" on the basis of a reference to A&R.

... So that's why few people believe in this non-standard quantization.
The current formulation is not based on any nonstandard quantization. Various earlier approaches have served as inspiration, intuitive guides, heuristic. You seem to be quarreling with something in the past history.
It would be helpful if you could bring your perception of LQG up to date and so have a real discussion, because I am sure your insights and comments would be very interesting.
 
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  • #15
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Thanks for your helpful replies everyone, I do understand that LQG and string theory are addressing two totally different questions although they are both trying to define a theory of QG. I would however say that over the years LQG has made considerable progress, what I wanted to do is that through some mechanism like Thiemann's that some results that are reached in LQC *can* be translated to bosonic string theory. Its an elementary step and I have no ambition of combining the two theories, just trying to show that some results in one theory can be translated to another.
 
  • #16
tom.stoer
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Of course there are indications that both theories point towards some underlying principle of nature, especially that both theories indicate something like a holographic principle for black hole surface degrees of freedom and Bekenstein-Hawking entropy. So they are somehow related - even if I am not able to say in which way.

Then there is the notorious problem of background independence (explicitly incorporated in LQG) in string theory which according to some reasoning discussed in this forum is hidden in a complicated way in the AdS/CFT correspondence - which is unfortunately limited to AdS and should be extended to dS and perhaps other spacetime geometries. That means that there may be methods or at lwast ideas from LQG which can be transferred to string theory.

String theory seems to produce a framework for unification of all known interactions (or better: of all mathematically conceivable interactions restricted by certain consistency conditions) whereas LQG can't address this unification issue at all (most attemts I have seen so far only add matter interactions by hand).

Unfortunately I don't see how string theory can help here.
 
  • #17
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I would be glad to see how the Einstein eqs of GR come out of LQG; before this is not convincingly demonstrated, I would consider this research program as tentative. Adopting strange quantization rules to rescue the theory makes it even less concinving. I hear every year that important breakthroughs had been made, but I really fail to see that it works. I have nothing against work in progress, but am inclined against this permanent overselling of a theory that changes all the time and hasn't produced hard results apart from promises. Dismissing string theory as just "interesting math" as marcus is routinely doing turns things really on its head.
 
  • #18
marcus
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Hi Suprised, thanks for addressing me (more or less) directly. I think it would be interesting to be able to discuss LQG with you if you would learn something about it. By the general tenor of your comments over many months you give the impression that you have only second-hand and sometimes out-of-date knowledge of the current developments in the field.

I could easily be mistaken but I think of you as an actual string theorist, someone in the French/German-speaking part of the world, at a university, actually working in the general stringy areas of research. So your perspective, if it were up-to-date and well-informed would be of considerable interest and value to an observer such as myself.

It would be very easy, I think, for you to get au courant on LQG developments. At last there have appeared some good review articles presenting the theory in a concise, simple, well-defined way. It would not take you much time, I suspect, to read them and gain a basic understanding.

They also contain plenty of frank admission of shortcomings! So if you are interested in gathering reasons to dismiss what your Lqg colleagues are doing, you can find plenty of direct quotes. Direct quotes from the Lqg researchers themselves, as of circa Jan 2011, how this or that approach has encountered serious obstacles and gotten bogged down.

But at least we could be talking on the basis of actual page references to real Lqg papers and on the basis of the actual status of the field.

I will give the same suggestions as last time:
Rovelli's reviews
http://arxiv.org/abs/1012.4707
http://arxiv.org/abs/1010.1939
Livine's review
http://arxiv.org/abs/1101.5061

The main review is the one by Rovelli, December 2010, but there are some points not covered there about recovering classical GR which you can find on page 5 (and half a column on page 6) of the shorter October 2010 review.
 
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  • #19
atyy
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There is nothing out of date about suprised's statement that no Einstein field equations have come from LQG.
 
  • #20
marcus
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That's certainly true Atyy! I have been responding to Sup's earlier statement that the theory was not well-defined, and his citation of the Alexandrov Roche paper.

It is fine for him to move the goal-posts now, and say that his problem really is that Einstein GR has not been derived!

But it would be even better if Suprised would take a few minutes or hour to get actually directly informed, so we could all be talking about the same thing.

You, I can infer from your comments, have read both the Livine review and the Rovelli December 2010 article.
 
  • #21
atyy
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Well, maybe the theory is also not well-defined in the sense that if EPRL/FK should fail to give the right classical limit, there are other spin foam models that have not been excluded. eg. Livine's comment (p62) "But beyond this, we need to identify a family of spinfoam models, which would be stable under coarse-graining."
 
  • #22
tom.stoer
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I haven' seen LQG reproducing GR field equations, but LQC nicely reproduces the (spherical symmetric) equations (with quantum corrections), cosmological solutions and black hole solutions at low density.
 
  • #23
marcus
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Well, maybe the theory is also not well-defined in the sense that if EPRL/FK should fail...
Atyy, One can always speculate about other versions. But I am interested to know what Suprised says, about the current version that you get in Rovelli's review.

It seems to me obvious that it is both testable and (by the prevailing standards in theoretical physics) well-defined.

The mathematical definition is simple definite and concise. One can calculate. According to phenomenologists it is, moreover, falsifiable using instruments which one knows how to build (just a bit better than the currently operating ESA Planck spacecraft).

I would hope to have some response from Super on this, although I value your comments very much too.

As far as indications of the correct classical limit go, that is also something that one can discussed based on a current reviews such as http://arxiv.org/abs/1012.4707 and http://arxiv.org/abs/1010.1939 , because those indications are extensive and gradually accumulate. The evidence is not complete but it is also not negligible---so one has to read the articles to get a sense of the current status.

The short (8 page) review http://arxiv.org/abs/1010.1939 actually has more on that. See page 5 and the first halfcolumn on page 6. It is the section called Section V: Relation with GR.
 
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  • #25
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marcus, I am just referring to Rovelli's recent review paper, assuming that it summarizes the current state of affairs. And there it is explictly stated that the emergence of GR out of LQG is conjectured, not proven.

There is nothing wrong with that, given that LQG is work in progress, like any other field of current active research. I am inclined to believe that for some variant or other of LQG, some reasonably convincing (nobody wants to demand rigor) argument that GR pops out will be made in the future. I am happy to assume that LQG works out for gravity much like lattice gauge theory nicely regularizes gauge theories.

What I object is to misrepresent the state of affairs, in constantly arguing that string theory would mainly be of mathematical interest, and not of physical interest. In fact, that the Einstein eqs of GR pop out almost for free from the string action has beeen known for decades, and comparing this to the situation of LQG, it is clear that string theory is decades ahead of LQG, and what you try to convey, marcus, is turning things on their head. And even if LQG would work out at some point, it is totally unclear whether any of the "problems" string theory has and is criticized for, like a landscape of solutions (which is actually desired), would be addressed or solved. That's just a hope; fine, all of this business is hope-driven, but it should be stated like that and not be oversold all the time.
 

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