Linking covariant and canonical LQG II: spin foam projector

Thiemann T, Zipfel A (2014)

Publication Status: Published

Publication Type: Journal article

Publication year: 2014



Book Volume: 31

Journal Issue: 12

DOI: 10.1088/0264-9381/31/12/125008


In a seminal paper, Kaminski et al for the first time extended the definition of spin foam models to arbitrary boundary graphs. This is a prerequisite in order to make contact to the canonical formulation of loop quantum gravity whose Hilbert space contains all these graphs. This makes it finally possible to investigate the question whether any of the presently considered spin foam models yields a rigging map for any of the presently defined Hamiltonian constraint operators. We postulate a rigging map by summing over all abstract spin foams with arbitrary but given boundary graphs. The states induced on the boundary of these spin foams can then be identified with elements in the gauge invariant Hilbert space H-0 of the canonical theory. Of course, such a sum over all spin foams is potentially divergent and requires a regularization. Such a regularization can be obtained by introducing specific cut-offs and a weight for every single foam. Such a weight could be for example derived from a generalized formal group field theory allowing for arbitrary interaction terms. Since such a derivation is, however, technical involved we forgo to present a strict derivation and assume that there exist a weight satisfying certain natural axioms, most importantly a gluing property. These axioms are motivated by the requirement that spin foam amplitudes should define a rigging map ( physical inner product) induced by the Hamiltonian constraint. In the analysis of the resulting object we are able to identify an elementary spin foam transfer matrix that allows to generate any finite foam as a finite power of the transfer matrix. It transpires that the sum over spin foams, as written, does not define a projector on the physical Hilbert space. This statement is independent of the concrete spin foam model and Hamiltonian constraint. However, the transfer matrix potentially contains the necessary ingredient in order to construct a proper rigging map in terms of a modified transfer matrix.

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Thiemann, T., & Zipfel, A. (2014). Linking covariant and canonical LQG II: spin foam projector. Classical and Quantum Gravity, 31(12).


Thiemann, Thomas, and Antonia Zipfel. "Linking covariant and canonical LQG II: spin foam projector." Classical and Quantum Gravity 31.12 (2014).

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