Identifier

etd-03112007-160900

Degree

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Physics and Astronomy

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

In the last 20 years, loop quantum gravity, a background independent approach to unify general relativity and quantum mechanics, has been widely investigated. The aim of loop quantum gravity is to construct a mathematically rigorous, background independent, nonperturbative quantum theory for the Lorentzian gravitational field on a four-dimensional manifold. In this approach, the principles of quantum mechanics are combined with those of general relativity naturally. Such a combination provides us a picture of "quantum Riemannian geometry", which is discrete at a fundamental scale. In the investigation of quantum dynamics, the classical expressions of constraints are quantized as operators. The quantum evolution is contained in the solutions of the quantum constraint equations. On the other hand, the semi-classical analysis has to be carried out in order to test the semiclassical limit of the quantum dynamics. In this thesis, the structure of the dynamical theory in loop quantum gravity is presented pedagogically. The outline is as follows: first we review the classical formalism of general relativity as a dynamical theory of connections. Then the kinematical Ashtekar-Isham-Lewandowski representation is introduced as a foundation of loop quantum gravity. We discuss the construction of a Hamiltonian constraint operator and the master constraint programme, for both the cases of pure gravity and matter field coupling. Finally, some strategies are discussed concerning testing the semiclassical limit of the quantum dynamics.

Date

2007

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Jorge Pullin

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