Three-geometry and reformulation of the Wheeler-DeWitt equation

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A reformulation of the Wheeler-DeWitt equation which highlights the role of gauge-invariant three-geometry elements is presented. It is noted that the classical super-Hamiltonian of four-dimensional gravity as simplified by Ashtekar through the use of gauge potential and densitized triad variables can furthermore be succinctly expressed as a vanishing Poisson bracket involving three-geometry elements. This is discussed in the general setting of the Barbero extension of the theory with arbitrary non-vanishing value of the Immirzi parameter, and when a cosmological constant is also present. A proposed quantum constraint of density weight 2 which is polynomial in the basic conjugate variables is also demonstrated to correspond to a precise simple ordering of the operators, and may thus help to resolve the factor ordering ambiguity in the extrapolation from classical to quantum gravity. An alternative expression of a density weight 1 quantum constraint which may be more useful in the spin network context is also discussed, but this constraint is non-polynomial and is not motivated by factor ordering. The paper also highlights the fact that while the volume operator has become a pre-eminent object in the current manifestation of loop quantum gravity, the volume element and the Chern-Simons functional can be of equal significance, and need not be mutually exclusive. Both these fundamental objects appear explicitly in the reformulation of the Wheeler-DeWitt constraint.

Original languageEnglish
Article number011
JournalClassical and Quantum Gravity
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Mar 21

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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