Some surprising implications of background independence in canonical quantum gravity

Abhay Ashtekar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


There is a precise sense in which the requirement of background independence suffices to uniquely select the kinematics of loop quantum gravity (LQG). Specifically, the fundamental kinematic algebra of LQG admits a unique diffeomorphism invariant state. Although this result has been established rigorously, it comes as a surprise to researchers working with other approaches to quantum gravity. The goal of this article is to explain the underlying reasons in a pedagogical fashion using geometrodynamics, keeping the technicalities at their minimum. This discussion will bring out the surprisingly powerful role played by diffeomorphism invariance (and covariance) in non-perturbative, canonical quantum gravity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1927-1943
Number of pages17
JournalGeneral Relativity and Gravitation
Issue number9
StatePublished - Aug 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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