Canonical general relativity

Canonical general relativity

In physics, canonical quantum gravity is an attempt to quantize the canonical formulation of general relativity (or canonical gravity). It is a Hamiltonian formulation of Einstein's general theory of relativity. The basic theory was outlined by Bryce DeWittref|dewitt in a seminal 1967 paper, and based on earlier work by Peter G. Bergmannref|bergmann using the so-called canonical quantization techniques for constrained Hamiltonian systems invented by Paul Dirac.ref|dirac Dirac's approach allows the quantization of systems that include gauge symmetries using Hamiltonian techniques in a fixed gauge choice. Newer approaches based in part on the work of DeWitt and Dirac include the Hartle-Hawking state, Regge calculus, the Wheeler-DeWitt equation and loop quantum gravity.

The quantization is based on decomposing the metric tensor as follows,

g_{mu u}dx^{mu}dx^{ u}=(-,N^2+eta_keta^k)dt^2+2eta_kdx^kdt+gamma_{ij}dx^idx^j

where the summation over repeated indices is implied, the index 0 denotes time au=x^0, Greek indices run over all values 0,...,3 and Latin indices run over spatial values 1,...3. The function N is called the lapse function and the functions eta_k are called the shift functions. The spatial indices are raised and lowered using the spatial metric gamma_{ij} and its inverse gamma^{ij}: gamma_{ij}gamma^{jk}=delta_i{}^k and eta^i=gamma^{ij}eta_j, gamma=detgamma_{ij}, where delta is the Kronecker delta. Under this decomposition the Einstein-Hilbert Lagrangian becomes, up to total derivatives,

L=int d^3x,Ngamma^{1/2}(K_{ij}K^{ij}-K^2+{}^{(3)}R)

where {}^{(3)}R is the spatial scalar curvature computed with respect to the Riemannian metric gamma_{ij}and K_{ij} is the extrinsic curvature,:K_{ij}=frac{1}{2}N^{-1}left( abla_jeta_i+ abla_ieta_j-frac{partialgamma_{ij{partial au} ight),where abla_i denotes covariant differentiation with respect to the metric gamma_{ij}. DeWitt writes that the Lagrangian "has the classic form 'kinetic energy minus potential energy,' with the extrinsic curvature playing the role of kinetic energy and the negative of the intrinsic curvature that of potential energy." While this form of the Lagrangian is manifestly invariant under redefinition of the spatial coordinates, it makes general covariance opaque.

Since the lapse function and shift functions may be eliminated by a gauge transformation, they do not represent physical degrees of freedom. This is indicated in moving to the Hamiltonian formalism by the fact that their conjugate momenta, respectively pi and pi^i, vanish identically (on shell and off shell). These are called "primary constraints" by Dirac. A popular choice of gauge, called synchronous gauge, is N=1 and eta_i=0, although they can, in principle, be chosen to be any function of the coordinates. In this case, the Hamiltonian takes the form:H=int d^3xmathcal{H},where:mathcal{H}=frac{1}{2}gamma^{-1/2}(gamma_{ik}gamma_{jl}+gamma_{il}gamma_{jk}-gamma_{ij}gamma_{kl})pi^{ij}pi^{kl}-gamma^{1/2}{}^{(3)}Rand pi^{ij} is the momentum conjugate to gamma_{ij}. Einstein's equations may be recovered by taking Poisson brackets with the Hamiltonian. Additional on-shell constraints, called "secondary constraints" by Dirac, arise from the consistency of the Poisson bracket algebra. These are mathcal{H}=0 and abla_jpi^{ij}=0. This is the theory which is being quantized in approaches to canonical quantum gravity.

canonical general relativity all have to deal with the problem of time. In short, in general relativity, time is just another coordinated as a result of general covariance. In quantum field theories, especially in the hamiltonian formulation, the formulation is split between 3 dimensions of space, and 1 dimension of time.

ee also

*Loop quantum gravity is one of this family of theories.
*Loop quantum cosmology (LQC) is a finite, symmetry reduced model of loop quantum gravity.

ources and notes

# cite journal|author = B. S. DeWitt | title = Quantum theory of gravity. I. The canonical theory | journal = Phys. Rev. | volume = 160 | pages = 1113–48 | year = 1967 | doi = 10.1103/PhysRev.160.1113 ( [ pdf] )
# see, "e.g." P. G. Bergmann, [ Hamilton-Jacobi and Schrödinger Theory in Theories with First-Class Hamiltonian Constraints ] "Helv. Phys. Acta Suppl." 4, 79 (1956) and references.
# cite journal|author = P. A. M. Dirac | title = Generalized Hamiltonian dynamics | journal = Can. J. Math. | volume = 2 | pages = 129–48 | year = 1950 ( [ link] ) cite book|author = P. A. M. Dirac | title = Lectures on quantum mechanics | publisher = Yeshiva University | location = New York | year = 1964
#P. A. M. Dirac [ Fixation of Coordinates in the Hamiltonian Theory of Gravitation] "Phys. Rev." 114, 924 (1959)
#P. A. M. Dirac [ The Theory of Gravitation in Hamiltonian Form] "Proc. Roy. Soc." (London) A246, 333 (1958)
#R. Arnowitt, S. Deser. and C, W, Misner [ The Dynamics of General Relativity] from "Gravitation: an introduction to current research", Louis Witten ed. (Wiley 1962), chapter 7, pp 227--265.

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