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Loop quantum ontology: spacetime and spin-networks

Norton, Joshua (2020) Loop quantum ontology: spacetime and spin-networks. [Preprint]

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It is standardly claimed in loop quantum gravity (LQG) that spacetime both disappears, fundamentally, and emerges from spin-networks in the low energy regime. In this paper, I critically explore these claims and develop a variety of substantival and relational interpretations of LQG for which these claims are false. According to most of the interpretations I consider, including the “received interpretation", it is in fact false that spacetime emerges from spin-networks. In the process of supporting these claims, I also explain why spacetime is thought to be missing from the theory’s fundamental ontology and demonstrate how this conclusion depends on our interpretation of the theory. In fact, I will argue that for a variety of interpretations spacetime survives quantization just as the electromagnetic field survives quantization. The upshot of the following analysis is a much needed clarification of the ontology of LQG and how it relates, or fails to relate, to the spacetime of general relativity.

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Item Type: Preprint
Additional Information: This document was originally written as a portion of the dissertation of Joshua Norton from the University if Illinois at Chicago.
Keywords: loop quantum gravity, spin-networks, emergence, general relativity, quantum gravity
Subjects: General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
Specific Sciences > Physics
Depositing User: Mr Joshua Norton
Date Deposited: 20 Apr 2020 22:10
Last Modified: 20 Apr 2020 22:10
Item ID: 17095
Subjects: General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
Specific Sciences > Physics
Date: April 2020

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