Background independent quantum gravity: A status report

Abhay Ashtekar, Jerzy Lewandowski

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1359 Citations (SciVal)


The goal of this review is to present an introduction to loop quantum gravity - a background-independent, non-perturbative approach to the problem of unification of general relativity and quantum physics, based on a quantum theory of geometry. Our presentation is pedagogical. Thus, in addition to providing a bird's eye view of the present status of the subject, the review should also serve as a vehicle to enter the field and explore it in detail. To aid non-experts, very little is assumed beyond elements of general relativity, gauge theories and quantum field theory. While the review is essentially self-contained, the emphasis is on communicating the underlying ideas and the significance of results rather than on presenting systematic derivations and detailed proofs. (These can be found in the listed references.) The subject can be approached in different ways. We have chosen one which is deeply rooted in well-established physics and also has sufficient mathematical precision to ensure that there are no hidden infinities. In order to keep the review to a reasonable size, and to avoid overwhelming non-experts, we have had to leave out several interesting topics, results and viewpoints; this is meant to be an introduction to the subject rather than an exhaustive review of it.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R53-R152
JournalClassical and Quantum Gravity
Issue number15
StatePublished - Aug 7 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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