Space–time physics in background-independent theories of quantum gravity

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Abstract

Background independence is often emphasized as an important property of a quantum theory of gravity that takes seriously the geometrical nature of general relativity. In a background-independent formulation, quantum gravity should determine not only the dynamics of space–time but also its geometry, which may have equally important implications for claims of potential physical observations. One of the leading candidates for background-independent quantum gravity is loop quantum gravity. By combining and interpreting several recent results, it is shown here how the canonical nature of this theory makes it possible to perform a complete space–time analysis in various models that have been proposed in this setting. In spite of the background-independent starting point, all these models turned out to be non-geometrical and even inconsistent to varying degrees, unless strong modifications of Riemannian geometry are taken into account. This outcome leads to several implications for potential observations as well as lessons for other background-independent approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number251
JournalUniverse
Volume7
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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