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CQG: New Boundary Variables and Quantization of Area in Quantum Gravity

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Wolfgang Wieland, Perimeter Institute
When
03 October 2017 from 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Where
320 Whitmore Lab
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In my talk I present a new argument for the discreteness of area in quantum gravity which does not require spin-networks or SU(2) gauge variables. The argument is based on the covariant Hamiltonian formulation for general relativity in presence of null boundaries. The introduction of such a lightlike boundary requires then an additional boundary term in the action. Using the original SL(2,\C) selfdual variables, we will then see that the natural such boundary term is nothing but a kinetic term for a spinor (defining the null flag of the boundary) and a spinor-valued two-form, which are both intrinsic to the boundary. I then discuss the relevance of this new boundary term for the covariant Hamiltonian formalism, the definition of quasi-local observables and a generalized version of the first law for general null surfaces. 

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