Revisiting loop quantum gravity with selfdual variables: classical theory

Sahlmann H, Seeger R (2024)

Publication Language: English

Publication Type: Journal article

Publication year: 2024


Book Volume: 41

Article Number: 075010

Journal Issue: 7

DOI: 10.1088/1361-6382/ad2cec


We review the classical formulation of general relativity as an S L ( 2 , C ) gauge theory in terms of Ashtekar’s self-dual variables and reality conditions for the spatial metric (first reality condition) and its evolution (second reality condition), and we add some new observations and results. We first explain in detail how a connection taking values in the Lie algebra of the complex Lorentz group yields two spin(3,1) connections, one self-dual and one anti-self-dual, without the need for a spin structure. We then demonstrate that the self-dual part of the complexified Palatini action in Ashtekar variables requires a holomorphic phase space description in order to obtain a non-degenerate symplectic structure. The holomorphic phase space does not allow for the implementation of the reality conditions as additional constraints, so they have to be taken care of ‘by hand’ during the quantisation. We also observe that, due to the action being complex, there is an overall complex phase that can be chosen at will. We then review the canonical formulation and the consequences of the implementation of the reality conditions. We pay close attention to the transformation behaviour of the various fields under (complex) basis changes, as well as to complex analytic properties of the relevant functions on phase space.

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How to cite


Sahlmann, H., & Seeger, R. (2024). Revisiting loop quantum gravity with selfdual variables: classical theory. Classical and Quantum Gravity, 41(7).


Sahlmann, Hanno, and Robert Seeger. "Revisiting loop quantum gravity with selfdual variables: classical theory." Classical and Quantum Gravity 41.7 (2024).

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