Abstract:
It is known that the SU(2) degrees of freedom manifest in the description of the gravitational field in loop quantum gravity are generally reduced to U(1) degrees of freedom on an $S^2$ isolated horizon. General relativity also allows black holes with planar, toroidal, or higher genus topology for their horizons. These solutions also meet the criteria for an isolated horizon, save for the topological criterion, which is not crucial. We discuss the relevant corresponding symmetry reduction for black holes of various topologies (genus 0 and $\geq 2$) here and discuss its ramifications to black hole entropy within the loop quantum gravity paradigm. Quantities relevant to the horizon theory are calculated explicitly using a generalized ansatz for the connection and densitized triad, as well as utilizing a general metric admitting hyperbolic sub-spaces. In all scenarios, the internal symmetry may be reduced to combinations of U(1).

Abstract:
We propose a derivation for computing black hole entropy for spherical non-rotating isolated horizons from loop quantum gravity in four and higher dimensions. The state counting problem effectively reduces to the well studied 3+1-dimensional one based on an SU(2)-Chern-Simons theory, differing only in the precise form of the area spectrum.

Abstract:
We review our recent proposal of a method to extend the quantization of spherically symmetric isolated horizons, a seminal result of loop quantum gravity, to a phase space containing horizons of arbitrary geometry. Although the details of the quantization remain formally unchanged, the physical interpretation of the results can be quite different. We highlight several such differences, with particular emphasis on the physical interpretation of black hole entropy in loop quantum gravity.

Abstract:
We give a short introduction to the approaches currently used to describe black holes in loop quantum gravity. We will concentrate on the classical issues related to the modeling of black holes as isolated horizons, give a short discussion of their canonical quantization by using loop quantum gravity techniques, and a description of the combinatorial methods necessary to solve the counting problems involved in the computation of the entropy.

Abstract:
We review the black hole entropy calculation in the framework of Loop Quantum Gravity based on the quasi-local definition of a black hole encoded in the isolated horizon formalism. We show, by means of the covariant phase space framework, the appearance in the conserved symplectic structure of a boundary term corresponding to a Chern-Simons theory on the horizon and present its quantization both in the U(1) gauge fixed version and in the fully SU(2) invariant one. We then describe the boundary degrees of freedom counting techniques developed for an infinite value of the Chern-Simons level case and, less rigorously, for the case of a finite value. This allows us to perform a comparison between the U(1) and SU(2) approaches and provide a state of the art analysis of their common features and different implications for the entropy calculations. In particular, we comment on different points of view regarding the nature of the horizon degrees of freedom and the role played by the Barbero-Immirzi parameter. We conclude by presenting some of the most recent results concerning possible observational tests for theory.

Abstract:
We review the black hole entropy calculation in the framework of Loop Quantum Gravity based on the quasi-local definition of a black hole encoded in the isolated horizon formalism. We show, by means of the covariant phase space framework, the appearance in the conserved symplectic structure of a boundary term corresponding to a Chern-Simons theory on the horizon and present its quantization both in the U(1) gauge fixed version and in the fully SU(2) invariant one. We then describe the boundary degrees of freedom counting techniques developed for an infinite value of the Chern-Simons level case and, less rigorously, for the case of a finite value. This allows us to perform a comparison between the U(1) and SU(2) approaches and provide a state of the art analysis of their common features and different implications for the entropy calculations. In particular, we comment on different points of view regarding the nature of the horizon degrees of freedom and the role played by the Barbero-Immirzi parameter. We conclude by presenting some of the most recent results concerning possible observational tests for theory.

Abstract:
In recent work on black hole entropy in non-perturbative quantum gravity, an action for the black hole sector of the phase space is introduced and (partially) quantized. We give a number of observations on this and related works. In particular we show that (I) the entropy calculation applies without change to generally covariant theories having no black hole solutions, (II) the phase space constraint used to select the black hole sector is not the apparent horizon equation, which is the natural phase space constraint separating trapped and untrapped regions on an initial data surface, and (III) there appears to be at least one other phase space constraint which leads to the conclusion that the entropy associated with a bounding two-dimensional surface is proportional to its area.

Abstract:
We impose a certain class of boundary conditions on Killing horizon and show for Lagrangians with arbitrary curvature dependence that one can identify a Virasoro algebra with nontrivial central charge and calculable Hamiltonian eigenvalue. Entropy can then be calculated from Cardy formula.

Abstract:
Cohen and Godin constructed positive boundary topological quantum field theory (TQFT) structure on the homology of free loop spaces of oriented closed smooth manifolds by associating a certain operations called string operations to orientable surfaces with parametrized boundaries. We show that all TQFT string operations associated to surfaces of genus at least one vanish identically. This is a simple consequence of properties of the loop coproduct which will be discussed in detail. One interesting property is that the loop coproduct is nontrivial only on the degree $d$ homology group of the connected component of $LM$ consisting of contractible loops, where $d=\dim M$, with values in the degree 0 homology group of constant loops. Thus the loop coproduct behaves in a dramatically simpler way than the loop product.

Abstract:
We examine counterparts of the Reissner-Nordstrom-anti-de Sitter black hole spacetimes in which the two-sphere has been replaced by a surface Sigma of constant negative or zero curvature. When horizons exist, the spacetimes are black holes with an asymptotically locally anti-de Sitter infinity, but the infinity topology differs from that in the asymptotically Minkowski case, and the horizon topology is not S^2. Maximal analytic extensions of the solutions are given. The local Hawking temperature is found. When Sigma is closed, we derive the first law of thermodynamics using a Brown-York type quasilocal energy at a finite boundary, and we identify the entropy as one quarter of the horizon area, independent of the horizon topology. The heat capacities with constant charge and constant electrostatic potential are shown to be positive definite. With the boundary pushed to infinity, we consider thermodynamical ensembles that fix the renormalized temperature and either the charge or the electrostatic potential at infinity. Both ensembles turn out to be thermodynamically stable, and dominated by a unique classical solution.