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Further more, I do not know the relationship between Carlo Rovelli's Quantum Gravity and Thomas Thiemann's Modern Canonical Quantum General Relativity. They looks so different.

Thank you very much.

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- Thread starter Karmerlo
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In summary, the development of Loop Quantum Gravity from 2000 to 2011 is discussed. The relationship between Carlo Rovelli's Quantum Gravity and Thomas Thiemann's Modern Canonical Quantum General Relativity is unclear. There are introductions to the subject for beginners, one by Dona and Speziale and one by Sahlmann. Some good centers for research in LQG are in continental Europe, the UK, and North America. Grad school in Europe may be a good idea for someone interested in this topic.f

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Further more, I do not know the relationship between Carlo Rovelli's Quantum Gravity and Thomas Thiemann's Modern Canonical Quantum General Relativity. They looks so different.

Thank you very much.

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I wish I could see some referent on recent development of this elegant theory.

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There are some links here:

https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?p=3597267#post3597267

A recent formulation of the theory is presented here, by Rovelli:

http://arxiv.org/abs/1102.3660

Another thing to look at, and see if you can find parts of it you can understand, is a 90-page account of recent spinfoam approach by Livine:

http://arxiv.org/abs/1101.5061

On the whole I think it is too hard to be an introduction for beginners, but you should know it is there (and a few parts might be helpful.)

There are simpler easier introductions than this, by other people. One for example by Hanno Sahlmann, he is a nice bright young fellow who got his PhD under the direction of Thomas Thiemann. As I recall he uses lots of pictures. I think his presentation is perhaps not so complete and not so hard as the one by Rovelli.

Do you know how to use ARXIV.ORG? To find a Sahlmann paper you go to

http://arxiv.org and you click on "search"

and you type Sahlmann into the author box.

It will give you Sahlmann's papers and there will be a recent one called something like "LQG, a short review"

There is a Sahlmann VIDEO about "new insights" in LQG. He was asked to give an opening talk at the regular Loops 2011 conference. Google "Loops 2011" and you will get the conference website, and click on "scientific program" and you will see a link to Sahlmann's talk. It might be helpful to watch the video. It reviews very recent work. He is a good clear presenter.

There is also a video talk by Rovelli at the same conference. You will see how to click on it if you decide you want to watch. It will be harder and more complete, but might still be helpful.

If you have any trouble, ask for help.

To save you time here is the link for Sahlmann "LQG, a short review" http://arxiv.org/abs/1001.4188

There are other introductions for beginners, like that, by others of the young people.

For example there is this:

http://arxiv.org/abs/1007.0402

called Introductory Lectures to LQG, by Dona and Speziale.

If Sahlmann is not right for you, and if Rovelli is too hard, then ask again and I or someone else will find other links. My personal opinion is that Sahlmann 1001.4188 is not up-to-date. I would only use something from 2011. But that is partly a personal bias of mine, and you might find his treatment to be just right for you. One has to begin somewhere!

https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?p=3597267#post3597267

A recent formulation of the theory is presented here, by Rovelli:

http://arxiv.org/abs/1102.3660

Another thing to look at, and see if you can find parts of it you can understand, is a 90-page account of recent spinfoam approach by Livine:

http://arxiv.org/abs/1101.5061

On the whole I think it is too hard to be an introduction for beginners, but you should know it is there (and a few parts might be helpful.)

There are simpler easier introductions than this, by other people. One for example by Hanno Sahlmann, he is a nice bright young fellow who got his PhD under the direction of Thomas Thiemann. As I recall he uses lots of pictures. I think his presentation is perhaps not so complete and not so hard as the one by Rovelli.

Do you know how to use ARXIV.ORG? To find a Sahlmann paper you go to

http://arxiv.org and you click on "search"

and you type Sahlmann into the author box.

It will give you Sahlmann's papers and there will be a recent one called something like "LQG, a short review"

There is a Sahlmann VIDEO about "new insights" in LQG. He was asked to give an opening talk at the regular Loops 2011 conference. Google "Loops 2011" and you will get the conference website, and click on "scientific program" and you will see a link to Sahlmann's talk. It might be helpful to watch the video. It reviews very recent work. He is a good clear presenter.

There is also a video talk by Rovelli at the same conference. You will see how to click on it if you decide you want to watch. It will be harder and more complete, but might still be helpful.

If you have any trouble, ask for help.

To save you time here is the link for Sahlmann "LQG, a short review" http://arxiv.org/abs/1001.4188

There are other introductions for beginners, like that, by others of the young people.

For example there is this:

http://arxiv.org/abs/1007.0402

called Introductory Lectures to LQG, by Dona and Speziale.

If Sahlmann is not right for you, and if Rovelli is too hard, then ask again and I or someone else will find other links. My personal opinion is that Sahlmann 1001.4188 is not up-to-date. I would only use something from 2011. But that is partly a personal bias of mine, and you might find his treatment to be just right for you. One has to begin somewhere!

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Hi Macus:

Do you have any recommendations about Loop Quantum Gravity Ph.D program? There are quite a lot of String/Brane research programs, but Loop Quantum Gravity research programs are rarely heard of. I only know Penn State, and Louisiana State in U.S, Waterloo University in Canada. Is there any more?

Thank you very much.

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Do you have any recommendations about Loop Quantum Gravity Ph.D program? There are quite a lot of String/Brane research programs, but Loop Quantum Gravity research programs are rarely heard of. I only know Penn State, and Louisiana State in U.S, Waterloo University in Canada. Is there any more?

...

First of all where are you geographically and where do you want to be? I assume your first language is English. They use English at several good LQG centers in continental Europe. Plus there's Nottingham in the UK. Have you thought about grad school in Europe?

I'm guessing you are in Usa, and prefer staying in North America. Waterloo in Canada would be great.

If you like California there's Steve Carlip's eclectic QG program at UC Davis. He has phd students working in several different QG approaches. I have high respect for him and his approach to the subject.

Maybe I shouldn't try to answer in a complete way until I hear more from you.

Nottingham (John Barrett) has set up a one-year Masters program which can have a QG focus preparing you for LQG/spinfoam PhD research. The program just started this year, so I have not seen any results. But it seems like a very solid program, good way to get started.

Steve Carlip has somebody working in Shape Dynamics (close cousin of LQG) named Henrique Gomes. Gomes coauthors with Tim Koslowski at Perimeter. There is a fair amount of traffic between Perimeter and Davis. Carlip also has a PhD student working specifically in Loop, and I think also someone doing CDT, if I remember right.

You already know about the programs at Penn State and at LSU, I gather.

there are other smaller programs with just one main person but I won't try to give an exhaustive reply at this point. Still wondering where you are and what you want and why you aren't considering European centers as well.

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First of all where are you geographically and where do you want to be? I assume your first language is English. They use English at several good LQG centers in continental Europe. Plus there's Nottingham in the UK. Have you thought about grad school in Europe?

I'm guessing you are in Usa, and prefer staying in North America. Waterloo in Canada would be great.

If you like California there's Steve Carlip's eclectic QG program at UC Davis. He has phd students working in several different QG approaches. I have high respect for him and his approach to the subject.

Maybe I shouldn't try to answer in a complete way until I hear more from you.

Nottingham (John Barrett) has a one-year Masters which can have a QG focus preparing you for LQG/spinfoam PhD research. It's new so I have not seen any results. But it seems like a very solid program, good way to get started.

Steve Carlip has somebody working in Shape Dynamics (close cousin of LQG) named Henrique Gomes. Gomes coauthors with Tim Koslowski at Perimeter. There is a fair amount of traffic between Perimeter and Davis. Carlip also has a PhD student working specifically in Loop, and I think also someone doing CDT, if I remember right.

You already know about the programs at Penn State and at LSU, I gather.

there are other smaller programs with just one main person but I won't try to give an exhaustive reply at this point. Still wondering where you are and what you want and why you aren't considering European centers as well.

Thanks Macus. I still want to put Europe in my wishlist.

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Thanks Macus. I still want to put Europe in my wishlist.

Great! Then you could start doing some research into what programs are offered and what you need in order to apply to get in.

Of course you could simply WRITE to Steve Carlip at UC Davis, and or others and ask what prerequisites they would like to see. It would be educational to learn what they are looking for, and also give you a chance to pick up courses that they think are valuable.

But some of that information is probably already online.

Have a look at the prerequisites for entering John Barrett's Masters program at Nottingham.

The link is in the "introduction to LQG" thread.

https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?p=3597267#post3597267

Here is the link for the Quantum Gravity group at Nottingham:

http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/mathematics/research/groups/mathematical-physics/quantum-gravity.aspx [Broken]

If you get into the oneyear masters program then I expect a large part of that year will be devoted to a "masters thesis" research paper that is done within the QG group. John Barrett leads that group. He is in contact with the whole LQG community and I imagine the master's program is good practice for succeeding in a PhD program in LQG.

My guess is that he would be a good person to place you in a PhD program that is right for you, whether in Europe, the UK, or North America. I can't really help since I don't know you.

Depending on where you are, there are people you could go talk with.

Jon Engle at Florida Atlantic

Jorge Pullin at LSU

Steve Carlin at Cal Davis

any of numerous great people at Perimeter and at Penn State

In fact there is this world map that Francesca created:

http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=U...985216139270436.0004843830d27f3e6c50e&t=h&z=0

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https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=544728

https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=545596

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But the 2010 paper which is the main focus of those threads does not engage what I would call RECENT development of LQG.

The recent formulation I told Karmerlo about in post #3 is that in http://arxiv.org/abs/1102.3660

which does not come up in the 2010 paper you cite.

The first place I read about the new LQG formulation was in a March 2010 paper "A New Look at LQG". They might have discussed it, but didn't. Just included it in their bibliography as reference [10] and made an inaccurate passing reference on page 44.

The recent formulation I told Karmerlo about in post #3 is that in http://arxiv.org/abs/1102.3660

which does not come up in the 2010 paper you cite.

The first place I read about the new LQG formulation was in a March 2010 paper "A New Look at LQG". They might have discussed it, but didn't. Just included it in their bibliography as reference [10] and made an inaccurate passing reference on page 44.

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... the recent reformulation does not solve many old issues!

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... the recent reformulation does not solve many old issues!

But how do we know that? I have not seen any critical analysis of 1102.3660 which lays out the issues which are not resolved. Except of course the reservations freely stated by the author himself right in the paper.

In particular Alex'ov and Roche paper does not seem relevant. I don't believe I have expressed my misgivings about it. It does not even seem honestly objective to me.

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http://arxiv.org/abs/1111.1879

Authors: Benjamin Bahr, Rodolfo Gambini, Jorge Pullin

(Submitted on 8 Nov 2011)

Abstract: In this review we discuss the interplay between discretization, constraint implementation, and diffeomorphism symmetry in Loop Quantum Gravity and Spin Foam models. To this end we review the Consistent Discretizations approach, which is an application of the master constraint program to construct the physical Hilbert space of the canonical theory, as well as the Perfect Actions approach, which aims at finding a path integral measure with the correct symmetry behavior under diffeomorphisms.

and Thiemann's papers, of course.

There is a research direction focussing on application of the new models; you will not find discussion regarding conceptual issues by looking only at the applications.

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http://arxiv.org/abs/1111.1879

Discretisations, constraints and diffeomorphisms in quantum gravity

Authors: Benjamin Bahr, Rodolfo Gambini, Jorge Pullin

(Submitted on 8 Nov 2011)

Now that is a good paper, I think! An even better up-to-date treatment that highlights some fascinating conceptual problems accessible to researchers is the Freidel et al I was discussing earlier.

http://arxiv.org/abs/1110.4833

Laurent Freidel, Marc Geiller, Jonathan Ziprick

(Submitted on 21 Oct 2011)

In this paper, we study the discrete classical phase space of loop gravity, which is expressed in terms of the holonomy-flux variables, and show how it is related to the continuous phase space of general relativity. In particular, we prove an isomorphism between the loop gravity discrete phase space and the symplectic reduction of the continuous phase space with respect to a flatness constraint. This gives for the first time a precise relationship between the continuum and holonomy-flux variables...

27 pages

27 pages

I agree! But why would anyone "look only at the applications"? One of the reasons that LQG research is growing and rapidly attracting new people is precisely because it has a lot of accessible research problems---both conceptual and applied.There is a research direction focussing on application of the new models; you will not find discussion regarding conceptual issues by looking only at the applications.

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I think the situation is as follows: there are these 'new models' from which physical predictions can be derived; this atracts a lot of interest and researchers. Then there are conceptualdifficulties wihc are addressed by less people - but which are (at least) equally important.I agree! But why would anyone "look only at the applications"? One of the reasons that LQG research is growing and rapidly attracting new people is precisely because it has a lot of accessible research problems---both conceptual and applied.

I was in a similar situation when working in a QCD group 20 years ago. QCD was a well establsihed theory, everything was 'standard textbook' - nevertheless there was no convincing idea regardig confinement - and it soon became clear that the well-established quantization

The number of researchers and the list of publications was rather small compared to numerous people wasting time their in three-loop calculations ...

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Different people will of course apply the analogy to the present situation in different ways.

For example, I see the Freidel Geiller Ziprick (FGZ) October 2011 paper as a conceptual breakthrough especially when coupled with Bianchi's 2009-2010 reformulation of LQG in terms of a flat manifold with topological defects. These developments involve

You talk about research that focuses on "applications". I am not sure what you mean by applications. The only active area of application I can think of is to cosmology and other areas where there are potential observations of QG effects. I don't imagine there is a very clear analogy here. I don't minimize the importance of calculating observational consequences that one can look for. The ESA apparently has plans for another CMB mission after the current Planck. The applied calculations are not like laborious 3-loop QCD calculations---not a big investment of man-days.

Anyway, the analogies with the present situation are not straightforward, so different people will probably see them differently.

BTW the Erlangen group has grown and seems pretty strong to me. I will post some links.

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I think the situation is as follows: there are these 'new models' from which physical predictions can be derived; this atracts a lot of interest and researchers. Then there are conceptualdifficulties wihc are addressed by less people - but which are (at least) equally important.

...

The new models ARE the conceptual breakthroughs which are the fruit of a few people wrestling long and hard with the conceptual issues. The issue of

BTW if you have been paying attention to the new models (the "polytope", the "aharo-bohm", the "zako" to give them nicknames ) you may have noticed the key role played by Bianchi in all three.

Now I suppose we will see a growing emphasis at Erlangen on what we can call the "new models." There is an impressive bunch of people being gathered there. The QG group is in two parts, one in Math led by Catherine Meusburger, one in Physics led by Thiemann. I'll get some links.

Here is about Meusburger:

http://www.algeo.math.uni-erlangen.de/people/meusburger-catherine/prof-dr-catherine-meusburger/positions.html [Broken]

She recently sent out this email announcement:

==excerpt==

A postdoc position will be available in the

==endquote==

Deadline for application is 15 December. This group is distinct from Thiemann's group.

http://www.algeo.math.uni-erlangen.de/people/meusburger-catherine/prof-dr-catherine-meusburger/research-group.html [Broken]

A postdoc in Meusburger's group is Winston Fairbairn whom you may know of as a Rovelli PhD and co-author.

Here is about the quantum gravity group in the Physics Department led by Thiemann:

http://theorie3.physik.uni-erlangen.de/people.html

This group has grown by the addition of some strong people who have had experience with various "new models" approaches. Maïté Dupuis who comes there from Lyon, for example.

She has co-authored a lot with Etera Livine, who was her PhD advisor and also one paper with Freidel.

Enrique Borja, who has co-authored with Etera Livine (several) and Freidel (one)

Emanuele Alesci, a Rovelli PhD and coauthor.

It's also interesting that John Baez' student Derek Wise is there.

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... the recent reformulation does not solve many old issues!

so what was the purpose of the reformulation then.

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To avoid the notoriously difficult Hamiltonian and to provide a tractable formulation from which results (especially in the semiclassical regime) can be derived more easily. The problem is that the underlying conceptual issues are still there but show up in a different (and not so obvious) way.so what was the purpose of the reformulation then.

One issue is this: usually the PI (including vertex and measure) is derived via the Hamiltonian; in the new models this derivation is avoided (intentionally b/c the Hamiltonian itself is still poorely understood). The question remains in which way the dynamics of the SF models is related to the original formulation (our understanding is restricted to the kinematical level).

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To avoid the notoriously difficult Hamiltonian and to provide a tractable formulation from which results (especially in the semiclassical regime) can be derived more easily. The problem is that the underlying conceptual issues are still there but show up in a different (and not so obvious) way.

One issue is this: usually the PI (including vertex and measure) is derived via the Hamiltonian; in the new models this derivation is avoided (intentionally b/c the Hamiltonian itself is still poorely understood). The question remains in which way the dynamics of the SF models is related to the original formulation (our understanding is restricted to the kinematical level).

I think this is a fair account as far as it goes, but leaves off the conceptual/aesthetic motivation---which I think is a factor both with Bianchi and with Rovelli.

The drive to discover new ways to think the world---new ways to visualize geometry and how it responds to measurement---new quantum concepts of geometry in other words.

I mentioned that as I see it the new models we are talking about are aharo-bohm, polytopes, and zakopane.

A. The aharo-bohm model is based on topological defects embedded in a flat manifold. The curvature lives on the defects. Rovelli discussed it as a side aspect, possible alternate way to see things, in the zako lectures. It's exciting that Freidel adopts it in the FGZ paper.

B. The polytope model (e.g. work by Bianchi) has the nodes of the network be fuzzy indefinite uncertain polyhedra. I find it interesting to imagine space built of such things. Whenever theory has several versions it provides opportunity researchers to learn something by investigating the extent to which they are equivalent or not equivalent. Quantum relativists are growing a new area of imagination.

C. A key step in zako model dynamics, according to Rovelli, was presented at conference by Bianchi in January 2010. It has conceptual elegance. The boundary state is a labeled network of measurements, enclosing a labeled foam of process.

There is this injective map of SU(2) reps into SL(2,C) reps, which they simply denote by the letter f. This map f contains all the calculation. There is a remarkable mental economy here: All the clutter is removed so that one can readily see what is happening.

======the rest of this post is just notes on sources========

polytope: http://arxiv.org/abs/1009.3402

Pirsa video: http://pirsa.org/10110052/ "Q'tum polyhedra in LQG"

polytope-related: http://arxiv.org/abs/1011.5628

aharo-bohm: http://arxiv.org/abs/0907.4388

Google "pirsa bianchi" and you get http://pirsa.org/11090125/

"Loop Gravity as the Dynamics of Topological Defects"

aharo-bohm related: http://arxiv.org/abs/1110.4833 (FGZ)

zako history: http://arxiv.org/abs/1004.1780

"I emphasize in particular the fact –pointed out by Eugenio Bianchi [2]– that the dynamics of the theory has a very simple and natural definition, largely determined by general physical principles. It is given by a natural immersion of SU(2) representations into SL(2,C) ones. A simple group theoretical construction (Eq. (45) below) appears to code the full Einstein equations.

Reference [2] is to Bianchi's talk at a January 2010 conference at the Sophia-Antipolis campus.

http://wwnpqft.inln.cnrs.fr/previous.html

http://wwnpqft.inln.cnrs.fr/pdf/Bianchi.pdf

"2 Note added in proofs: For a much simpler and straightforward presentation of the dynamics of the theory, which does not require the full intertwiner space machinery, see [3]."

Reference [3] http://arxiv.org/abs/1010.1939 is to a strip-down feynman-rules presentation developed in Moscow, see page 1 of “Simple model for quantum general relativity from loop quantum gravity.”

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dynamics(Hamiltonian, vertex, measure, ...)

zako history: http://arxiv.org/abs/1004.1780

"I emphasize in particular the fact –pointed out by Eugenio Bianchi [2]– that thedynamicsof the theory has a very simple and natural definition, largely determined by general physical principles. It is given by a natural immersion of SU(2) representations into SL(2,C) ones. A simple group theoretical construction (Eq. (45) below) appears to code the full Einstein equations.^{2}"

Reference [2] is to Bianchi's talk at a January 2010 conference at the Sophia-Antipolis campus.

http://wwnpqft.inln.cnrs.fr/previous.html

http://wwnpqft.inln.cnrs.fr/pdf/Bianchi.pdf

"2 Note added in proofs: For a much simpler and straightforward presentation of thedynamicsof the theory, which does not require the full intertwiner space machinery, see [3]."

Reference [3] http://arxiv.org/abs/1010.1939 is to a strip-down feynman-rules presentation developed in Moscow, see page 1 of “Simple model for quantum general relativity from loop quantum gravity.”

The whole idea of the Moscow feynman-rule presentation (1010.1939) was to show how to do the dynamics in a really concise streamlined way. By dynamics, I mean calculate (generalized) transtion amplitudes.

The core idea in the zako formulation is again transition amplitude dynamics. That is the motivation for the setup where you have a

Perhaps the most remarkable thing about the zako formulation is that it captures the dynamics in such a simple way---with the injection f: SU(2) reps --> SL(2,C) reps.

I speculate that this was contributed by Bianchi. Rovelli seems to be crediting him with the idea on the first page (third paragraph) of 1004.1780.

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But the dynamics of SFs can neither be derived nor can it be shown to be equivalent to an underlying canonical structure. In that sense the two approaches are still incomplete.

The problem is that there are two possible ways to check (in a limited sense) whether dynamical structures are 'correct'. Either you can show their equivalence (which we can't for canonical LQG and SFs) or you can for at least one of them show that it agrees with experiments (which we can't, either). In addition the accessable semiclassical sector misses certain underlying features of full QG b/c the limit washes away hbar-corrections and may be blind for off-shell properties of the full theory.

That means that - yes - "*... the dynamics of the theory has a very simple and natural definition, largely determined by general physical principles ... and appears to code the full Einstein equations*" but that this is by far not sufficient to resolve all conceptual issues and prove that the QG regime itself is described correctly. The Einstein equations are nothing else but a preliminary test for consistency.

marcus, don't get me wrong: the new models are of course a major step forward, but they are still work in progress and it may very well be that they fail be provide a (mathematically) consistent and (physically) correct theory of quantum gravity.

The problem is that there are two possible ways to check (in a limited sense) whether dynamical structures are 'correct'. Either you can show their equivalence (which we can't for canonical LQG and SFs) or you can for at least one of them show that it agrees with experiments (which we can't, either). In addition the accessable semiclassical sector misses certain underlying features of full QG b/c the limit washes away hbar-corrections and may be blind for off-shell properties of the full theory.

That means that - yes - "

marcus, don't get me wrong: the new models are of course a major step forward, but they are still work in progress and it may very well be that they fail be provide a (mathematically) consistent and (physically) correct theory of quantum gravity.

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marcus, don't get me wrong: the new models are of course a major step forward, but they are still work in progress and it may very well be that they fail be provide a (mathematically) consistent and (physically) correct theory of quantum gravity.

Just to make sure we understand each other, the new models I've been talking about are primarily the one that first appeared in April 2010 with the "New Look" paper that you quote in your post: 1004.1780. And then got a more thorough presentation in http://arxiv.org/abs/1102.3660 . I also mentioned two new approaches by Eugenio Bianchi that I called "aharo-bohm" and "polytopes". But these two are in very early stages. The main new model is the one that came out last year and is most fully presented in the Zakopane paper 1102.3660.

I think we both understand that this is not the same as what is often referred to as "EPRL" or as "EPRL-FK". It's what I've been calling "zako" for short

I agree that the zako formulation of LQG is a major step forward, as you say, and also fully agree that it is work in progress!

Indeed we do not know how physically correct it will turn out to be! Nature must decide that one. Rovelli, who is the main architect of this formulation says explicitly at the end of the main paper on it (1102.3660) that it may be wrong and he urges the researchers for whom the paper is written to try to show it wrong. But that is normal for him, in every survey talk he emphasizes the theory's tentativeness, and that there is plenty of work to be done on it.

That means that - yes - "... the dynamics of the theory has a very simple and natural definition, largely determined by general physical principles ... and appears to code the full Einstein equations" but that this is by far not sufficient to resolve all conceptual issues and prove that the QG regime itself is described correctly. The Einstein equations are nothing else but a preliminary test for consistency.

Indeed! Derivation from classical theory is no guarantee that a quantum theory is right.

And as you say consistency with the (classical) Einstein equations are no guarantee either!

As you say this is just a preliminary test.

That would also be true, obviously, if one were to formulate a canonical LQG, with hamiltonian, and show that it couid be derived from the classical by "quantizing" general relativity. All these things are merely preliminary tests.

The purpose of a theory is twofold---to give a new better way to think the world (in this case a new conceptual picture of geometry and cosmology) and to

But I think you are not right when you say LQG cannot be tested. You say not by "experiments", but I assume you include cosmological observation on the same footing as ground-based experiment. The whole point of LQG, as far as I am concerned, is to predict future early universe observations as more and better instruments are launched into orbit.

That and of course to have a better way to think about (big bang, black hole and other) geometry--improved concepts.

http://arxiv.org/abs/1102.3660

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but that this is by far not sufficient to resolve all conceptual issues and prove that the QG regime itself is described correctly. .

first, shouldn't the conceptual issues be an output of the theory. second, how do we know if QG regime is described correctly since there is nothing to compare. I guess you mean something else by those two things.

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I mentioned the issue of predicting new observations. One reason that early universe phenomena are a good "LABORATORY" for LQG and quantum relativity more generally is that quantum effects are associated with high energy density and with **small scale**, while the early universe bang or bounce is a HUGE MICROSCOPE.

Quantum effects, fluctuations, are enormously magnified and spread across the sky.

So one wants a quantum theory of geometry (interacting with matter) which predicts what we see and will see, as new intruments go into orbit.

This is the reason for many of the papers found by this InSpire search:

http://inspirehep.net/search?ln=en&...Search&sf=&so=d&rm=citation&rg=100&sc=0&of=hb

Earlier I was using a Spires search, but Spires is being turned off and replaced by the new InSpire service. This search gets papers which appeared or were published in the four years 2008-2011.

In conjunction with LQG/LQC it uses the OR of categories "gravitational radiation", "inflation", "power spectrum", "cosmic background radiation", "primordial".

The papers are ranked by citation count.

I want to stress the Empiricism aspect. It is the final criterion. Of course we are happy that LQG seems able to reproduce predictions from the Einstein equation of GR---but ultimately this is of value only because the Einstein equation agrees with observations over a wide range of scales.

Quantum effects, fluctuations, are enormously magnified and spread across the sky.

So one wants a quantum theory of geometry (interacting with matter) which predicts what we see and will see, as new intruments go into orbit.

This is the reason for many of the papers found by this InSpire search:

http://inspirehep.net/search?ln=en&...Search&sf=&so=d&rm=citation&rg=100&sc=0&of=hb

Earlier I was using a Spires search, but Spires is being turned off and replaced by the new InSpire service. This search gets papers which appeared or were published in the four years 2008-2011.

In conjunction with LQG/LQC it uses the OR of categories "gravitational radiation", "inflation", "power spectrum", "cosmic background radiation", "primordial".

The papers are ranked by citation count.

I want to stress the Empiricism aspect. It is the final criterion. Of course we are happy that LQG seems able to reproduce predictions from the Einstein equation of GR---but ultimately this is of value only because the Einstein equation agrees with observations over a wide range of scales.

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So what does lqg predict exactly that the new missions should be looking for.

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So what does lqg predict exactly that the new missions should be looking for.

It doesn't have precise killer predictions on record yet! but it is getting there.

To see what some phenomenologists (not LQG people themselves but the uncommitted people whose business is figuring out how to test theories) have come up with, look at the most highly cited papers in that list that are by phenomenologists like Barrau, Grain, Wen Zhao, and their co-authors.

Do you remember what the next ESA CMB mission (after the current Planck mission) is called? I saw it discussed recently and lost the link.

[EDIT: It may have been canceled. I looked and could only find this:

http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/object/index.cfm?fobjectid=42839

There is no mission name attached. Just the bare study of a concept.]

Wen Zhao's paper refers to a proposed NASA mission tentatively called CMBpol, which as far as I know has not been funded. But Zhao et al also use data that has already been gathered (e.g. by WMAP) to see what constraints they can derive.

I'll suggest five sample papers, but these are not the most recent you can find using the InSpire search. Ranked by cite-count, these are #1, #7, #11, #12, and #21. Some I've read and some just barely glanced at and thought might interest you.

#1 (cited 43 times) http://inspirehep.net/record/812301?ln=en

#7 (cited 21 times) http://inspirehep.net/record/798154

#11 (cited 18 times) http://inspirehep.net/record/830146

#12 (cited 18 times) http://inspirehep.net/record/813856

#21 (cited 8 times) http://inspirehep.net/record/861191

BTW one robust prediction of Loop cosmology is a bounce with a period of faster-than-exponential growth called "superinflation" during which the Hubble parameter actually increases very quickly, rather than (as in ordinary inflation) remaining approximately steady or gradually declining. You find this discussed authoritatively in Ashtekar papers. It does not require an inflaton or any exotic physics, it is just built into the Loop bounce. So that is kind of distinctive and I see that a couple of the papers on the list explictly study the possible observational consequences of that superinflation bounce feature.

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OKJust to make sure we understand each other, the new models I've been talking about are primarily the one that first appeared in April 2010 with the "New Look" paper ...

OKIndeed! Derivation from classical theory is no guarantee that a quantum theory is right.

And as you say consistency with the (classical) Einstein equations are no guarantee either!

As you say this is just a preliminary test.

A second, independent derivation of the dynamics + formal proof of equivalence would be more than a preliminary test, it would be a breakthrough.That would also be true, obviously, if one were to formulate a canonical LQG, with hamiltonian, ...

The problem is that most cosmological observation will not address the deep QG regime but the semiclassical one which cannot serve as a litmus test. But this is a generic problem for QG and indicates somehow a paradigm shift away from close interaction between theory and experiment towards predominantly mathematical considerations. This is a major problem in (certain domains of) modern physics and - as far as I can see - there is absolurely no way out!But I think you are not right when you say LQG cannot be tested. You say not by "experiments", but I assume you include cosmological observation ...

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Afaik - nothing!So what does lqg predict exactly that the new missions should be looking for.

- for high-energy cosmic radiation (GZK cutoff) there is no unambiguous, indisputable prediction (*)

- for energy dependent speed of light there is no unambiguous, indisputable prediction, either (*)

- for effects on light polarization there is no unambiguous, indisputable prediction, either

- LQG footprint in CMB due to primordial gravitational waves is only be derived within LQC (**)

- everything else (black holes, big bang) is neither fully understood nor directly testable

(* there were attempts to derive such effects but afaik the old models suffered from physically incorrect approximations, e.g. weave states which were not exactly in the kernel of the - largely unknwon - Hamiltonian)

(** this sems to be the most promising research area, but afaik it is unclear if full LQG will reproduce the LQC predictions)

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...

- LQG footprint in CMB due to primordial gravitational waves is only be derived within LQC (**)

...

...

(** this sems to be the most promising research area, but afaik it is unclear if full LQG will reproduce the LQC predictions)

I agree that it is the most promising. It sounds to me like the big issue for you is whether

I keep seeing research in that direction which seems to be making progress. So to satisfy you that LQG is as testable as LQC I need to start keeping better track of those particular papers.

==================================

BTW I should report that, contrary to my expectations and perhaps prejudices, when I had a look in the literature just now the FIRST author I found working on Lqg --> Lqc

was a guy working for Steve Carlip at UC Davis. Carlip is an excellent quantum relativist who has PhD students working in several QG including LQG, "shape dynamics", and CDT.

I heard Carlip talk on QG spontaneous dimensional reduction here at Berkeley and hold him in high regard. He has this student Chun-yen Lin.

PhD thesis --- http://arxiv.org/abs/0912.0554 (revised March 2011)

November 2011 followup --- http://arxiv.org/abs/1111.1766

I don't know if the work is good, but I was surprised to see it uses the

canonical Lqg approach. You have to figure that Carlip (who is world class) is guiding this guy. He seems to be still at UC Davis even though probably now post-doc. Here is Chun-yen Lin's conclusion paragraph:

==quote 1111.1766==

This paper starts from the kinematical Hilbert space of loop quantum gravity, which describes the matter fields living in the dynamical quantum geometry of space. Using the model with a modified Hamiltonian constraint operator, we see that the dynamics of such a system reproduces FRW cosmology in the large scale limit. Further, the O(h

The result serves as a starting point to many possible future projects. First, one may explicitly construct the coherent states in the model to evaluate the emergent cosmology beyond O(h

==endquote==

Well nobody is saying that the job is finished! But I see he has made a little progress. He gets a bounce with his Lqg model and estimates the matter density and it higher than the density at bounce that Ashtekar gets in regular Lqc, but at least not grossly lower as one might have feared. Plenty of work left to do here.

And there are also other Lqg --> Lqc papers which I should gather to get an idea of how the research is going on this front.

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Well, the issue is whether "LGQ: first quantize - then reduce symmetry" is (in a certain approximation) equivalent to "LQC: first reduce symmetry - then quantize".I agree that it is the most promising. It sounds to me like the big issue for you is whetherfull LQG will reproduce the LQC predictions.

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- LQG footprint in CMB due to primordial gravitational waves is only be derived within LQC (**)

...

(** this sems to be the most promising research area, but afaik it is unclear if full LQG will reproduce the LQC predictions)

I agree that it is the most promising. It sounds to me like the big issue for you is whetherfull LQG will reproduce the LQC predictions.

I keep seeing research in that direction which seems to be making progress...

...papers which I should gather to get an idea of how the research is going on this front.

Well, the issue is whether "LGQ: first quantize - then reduce symmetry" is (in a certain approximation) equivalent to "LQC: first reduce symmetry - then quantize".

I'm not sure what you mean by "the" issue. There are probably several issues, some of greater importance. I think of vintage-2006 LQC as an heuristic--eventually to be replaced by full-LQG cosmology (or retained as an approximation if it can be shown useful in that role.)

I see that beginning to happen in a number of papers from the Ashtekar and Marseille groups. They already have some preliminary results indicating a bounce which is LIKE the usual LQC bounce (using spin foam or other LQG with some restrictions which one then tries to progressively relax.)

One does not have to symmetrize first! The assumptions of homogeneity and isotropy can be weakened, gradually. This is a common theme in current research as I expect you know. Various means are used to make the problem tractable.

I judge that it is a "done deal" that the full theory will yield bounce predictions which are, in any case, LIKE, those obtained from the usual LQC. I would not necessarily expect them to be precisely the same, just similar. The Loop bounce is robust. So then the phenomenologists can work with full-LQG cosmology and work out observational tests.

The restrictive version, LQC, would then be relegated to a secondary role---it might continue as a useful approximation or it might not---such details are hard to foresee.

But on

In any case that's how I view the main conceptual issues here. I should gather some links to the work on spin foam cosmology and perhaps some of the other papers that relax the traditional uniformity assumptions (iso and homog).

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With "LQC: first reduce symmetry - then quantize" I mean that in LQC you first constrain the system from infinitly many to finitly many degrees of freedom which you then quantize..

Of course I understand that, but it's good you mention it in case someone is reading who is new to the subject.

==quote continued==

It is by no means clear whether the LQG approach where you have to study a symmetric subsector of the full theory containing infinitly many variables will lead to the same predictions

==endquote==

Well the trend in LQG/spinfoam cosmology is to relax the symmetry requirement. They get away from string isotropy and homogeneity, and see whether they continue to see a bounce.

I'm not sure why you say you would have to study a "symmetric subsector" of the theory.

That would be if you thought it was important to

As I see it, the main thing is not to imitate or show equivalence to other versions, but to get definite testable predictions from some formulation (like Zako) of the full theory. The most obvious being if you get a bounce. That seems to be the way the research is going.

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