Graduate studies at Western
|Abstract||An assessment is offered of the progress that the major approaches to quantum gravity have made towards the goal of constructing a complete and satisfactory theory. The emphasis is on loop quantum gravity and string theory, although other approaches are discussed, including dynamical triangulation models (euclidean and lorentzian) regge calculus models, causal sets, twistor theory, non-commutative geometry and models based on analogies to condensed matter systems. We proceed by listing the questions the theories are expected to be able to answer. We then compile two lists: the first details the actual results so far achieved in each theory, while the second lists conjectures which remain open. By comparing them we can evaluate how far each theory has progressed, and what must still be done before each theory can be considered a satisfactory quantum theory of gravity. We find there has been impressive recent progress on several fronts. At the same time, important issues about loop quantum gravity are so far unresolved, as are key conjectures of string theory. However, there is a reasonable expectation that experimental tests of lorentz invariance at Planck scales may in the near future make it possible to rule out one or more candidate quantum theories of gravity.|
|Keywords||background-free background-independent quantum gravity|
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