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Lee Smolin's New Book "Quantum Gravity"

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Posted by Richard Ruquist on April 16, 2002 13:58:20 UTC

Richard & Paul,

Lee's book discusses many aspects of the origin of loop quantum gravity theory that remind me of the discussions you are having on this forum. In particular, it discusses the need for a 'relational theory' like relativity where there is no absolute background space, something like shift symmetry. It also discusses the need for a theory where the observer is in the system rather than being an outside observer, like the Maxwell/Boltzmann feedback analysis. It also mentions the need to handle unknown data which follows from the uncertainty principle, and which I have always thought was the most important contribution of your work. And of course the data must be descrete, as numbers are.

But now I see from your post that your theory is even more remarkable as the observer is included in the system. I do have one question regarding this aspect. From the following quote from your post***The Maxwell/Boltzmann analysis of velocity distribution in a chaotic gas uses the idea that, whatever that distribution is, it must be statistically stable.*** it appears that the M/B theory only works for systems where entropy is at a maximum. In other words it is not a fully dynamic theory. And I wonder if that limitation would also apply to your theory. Do your numbers have to be static or stable in some other manner.

One significant difference between Loop theory and yours is that it seems to me that you are assuming that your numbers are in a background space-time. But perhaps your theory does not require any background if it's just a set of numbers. But you do say that it does not matter where you put the zero point of the coordinate system- the notorious shift symmetry. Is it possible that you could get the same result without using a coordinate system. Afterall, it's just a set of numbers.

Loop theory actually derives space-time from descrete spin networks on the Planck scale as discussed in Lee's book. Both of you may find it to be an interesting read.



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