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Three Roads to Quantum Gravity

  1. Mar 3, 2008 #1
    "Three Roads to Quantum Gravity"

    So some time back, before "The Trouble with Physics", Lee Smolin wrote a book called "Three Roads to Quantum Gravity". Is "Three Roads" any good? And does it go into any detail on how LQG works?

    I find LQG a little while back, so I read Smolin's "The Trouble with Physics" because I heard alternatives to string theory were presented in it. "Trouble with Physics" was a very interesting book, but it didn't have much about LQG in it. Would I have maybe more luck with "Three Roads"?

    In particular, is there anything Lee Smolin has written analogous to Rovelli's "Quantum Gravity" textbook, in the sense of just laying out Smolin's approach to LQG as he sees it? Or is the thing to do if one is interested in that to just read through Smolin's Arxiv entries...?

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  3. Mar 3, 2008 #2


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  4. Mar 3, 2008 #3


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    I'm curious, what's wrong with Rovelli's book? and if you read it - what do you think?

    I got this book myself not too long ago, and it's on my bed table and I've started to go through it. I haven't formed a definite opinon on his thinking and ideas yet. But the part that motivates me, is to see if analysing his ideas from my own view, can induce some new insights. But I like some of the parts I've read so far, so regardless of what I will think of this thinking after finishing this, it seems like a good quality book and I don't regret getting it. What i like is that he does some good generic reflections on the historical background, where he at least as it seem tries to keep it at a level where you don't get the impression that he is trying to "preach", and convince you with arbitrary logic. So I like it so far.

  5. Mar 3, 2008 #4

    I think Rovelli's book is fantastic, that's why I am looking around for more books like it :)

    I got the chance to read the first part of Rovelli's book a little while back, I like how he kind of kept a balance between straightforward scientific discourse and just kind of sharing his thoughts on various subjects. The latter parts were very conversational and give you a surprisingly close and personal idea of Rovelli's thought processes, I thought, in a way you very rarely get in science literature. Unfortunately I got kind of lost in the mathematics of hamiltonians partway through the book... I at some point hope to go back and give the book another try, I think the part where I got stuck before (where he's providing a review of various traditional kinds of mechanics in physics) was mainly intended as just background anyway...

    Demystifier, thank you for the link!
  6. Mar 4, 2008 #5


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    This impression seems to be somewhat in line with my impression, even though I have only started reading.

    On parts of the initial analysis and reflection, I find rovelli's viewpoints very plausible. This is Rovelli's relational ideas, where I find his elaborations to be fairly sharp. But then in some other places, he seems to suggest that the results is not what I'd expect. He seems to reason differently that I would have expected, starting from premises which I share. I'm curious to see how his reasoning makes an unexpected connection between these views. I've got a feeling that his initial analysis is more clear than the later parts where he tries to take the topics to the next level. I'm excited to see how my view on this changes as I keep analysing the book.

  7. Mar 4, 2008 #6


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    Let me put my name on the list of Rovelli-and-his-book fans! :smile:
  8. Mar 4, 2008 #7


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  9. Mar 4, 2008 #8
    Here is a post about QG books and other tips:

    http://egregium.wordpress.com/2008/01/17/list-of-books-on-quantum-gravity-and-other-helpful-tips/ [Broken]

    I hope it can be of some help into the LQG literature.

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