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Journal Article

Canonical simplicial gravity


Dittrich,  Bianca
Canonical and Covariant Dynamics of Quantum Gravity, AEI Golm, MPI for Gravitational Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Dittrich, B., & Hoehn, P. A. (2012). Canonical simplicial gravity. Classical and quantum gravity, 29(11): 115009. doi:10.1088/0264-9381/29/11/115009.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0012-14D8-D
A general canonical formalism for discrete systems is developed which can handle varying phase space dimensions and constraints. The central ingredient is Hamilton's principle function which generates canonical time evolution and ensures that the canonical formalism reproduces the dynamics of the covariant formulation following directly from the action. We apply this formalism to simplicial gravity and (Euclidean) Regge calculus, in particular. A discrete forward/backward evolution is realized by gluing/removing single simplices step by step to/from a bulk triangulation and amounts to Pachner moves in the triangulated hypersurfaces. As a result, the hypersurfaces evolve in a discrete `multi-fingered' time through the full Regge solution. Pachner moves are an elementary and ergodic class of homeomorphisms and generically change the number of variables, but can be implemented as canonical transformations on naturally extended phase spaces. Some moves introduce a priori free data which, however, may become fixed a posteriori by constraints arising in subsequent moves. The end result is a general and fully consistent formulation of canonical Regge calculus, thereby removing a longstanding obstacle in connecting covariant simplicial gravity models to canonical frameworks. The present scheme is, therefore, interesting in view of many approaches to quantum gravity, but may also prove useful for numerical implementations.