Abstract:
The combinatorial problem of counting the black hole quantum states within the Isolated Horizon framework in Loop Quantum Gravity is analyzed. A qualitative understanding of the origin of the band structure shown by the degeneracy spectrum, which is responsible for the black hole entropy quantization, is reached. Even when motivated by simple considerations, this picture allows to obtain analytical expressions for the most relevant quantities associated to this effect.

Abstract:
We discuss some general properties of black hole entropy in loop quantum gravity from the perspective of local stationary observers at distance l from the horizon. The present status of the theory indicates that black hole entropy differs from the low energy (IR) expected value A/(4G) (in natural units) in the deep Planckian regime (UV). The partition function is well defined if the number of non-geometric degrees of freedom g_M (encoding the degeneracy of the area a_p eigenvalue at a puncture p) satisfy the holographic bound g_M < exp(ap/(4G)). Our framework provides a natural renormalization mechanism such that S_UV ---> S_IR=A/(4 G) as the scale l flows.

Abstract:
We introduce, in a systematic way, a set of generating functions that solve all the different combinatorial problems that crop up in the study of black hole entropy in Loop Quantum Gravity. Specifically we give generating functions for: The different sources of degeneracy related to the spectrum of the area operator, the solutions to the projection constraint, and the black hole degeneracy spectrum. Our methods are capable of handling the different countings proposed and discussed in the literature. The generating functions presented here provide the appropriate starting point to extend the results already obtained for microscopic black holes to the macroscopic regime --in particular those concerning the area law and the appearance of an effectively equidistant area spectrum.

Abstract:
The entanglement entropy between quantum fields inside and outside a black hole horizon is a promising candidate for the microscopic origin of black hole entropy. We show that the entanglement entropy may be defined in loop quantum gravity, and compute its value for spin network states. The entanglement entropy for an arbitrary region of space is expressed as a sum over punctures where the spin network intersects the region's boundary. Our result agrees asymptotically with results previously obtained from the isolated horizon framework, and we give a justification for this agreement. We conclude by proposing a new method for studying corrections to the area law and its implications for quantum corrections to the gravitational action.

Abstract:
In the framework of loop quantum gravity (LQG), having quantum black holes in mind, we generalize the previous boundary state counting (gr-qc/0508085) to a full bulk state counting. After a suitable gauge fixing we are able to compute the bulk entropy of a bounded region (the "black hole") with fixed boundary. This allows us to study the relationship between the entropy and the boundary area in details and we identify a holographic regime of LQG where the leading order of the entropy scales with the area. We show that in this regime we can fine tune the factor between entropy and area without changing the Immirzi parameter.

Abstract:
Black hole thermodynamics suggests that the maximum entropy that can be contained in a region of space is proportional to the area enclosing it rather than its volume. I argue that this follows naturally from loop quantum gravity and a result of Kolmogorov and Bardzin' on the the realizability of networks in three dimensions. This represents an alternative to other approaches in which some sort of correlation between field configurations helps limit the degrees of freedom within a region. It also provides an approach to thinking about black hole entropy in terms of states inside rather than on its surface. Intuitively, a spin network complicated enough to imbue a region with volume only lets that volume grow as quickly as the area bounding it.

Abstract:
Simple arguments related to the entropy of black holes strongly constrain the spectrum of the area operator for a Schwarzschild black hole in loop quantum gravity. In particular, this spectrum is fixed completely by the assumption that the black hole entropy is maximum. Within the approach discussed, one arrives in loop quantum gravity at a quantization rule with integer quantum numbers $n$ for the entropy and area of a black hole.

Abstract:
We outline how the Wald entropy formula naturally arises in loop quantum gravity based on recently introduced dimension-independent connection variables. The key observation is that in a loop quantization of a generalized gravity theory, the analog of the area operator turns out to measure, morally speaking, the Wald entropy rather than the area. We discuss the explicit example of (higher-dimensional) Lanczos-Lovelock gravity and comment on recent work on finding the correct numerical prefactor of the entropy by comparing it to a semiclassical effective action.

Abstract:
Black holes in equilibrium and the counting of their entropy within Loop Quantum Gravity are reviewed. In particular, we focus on the conceptual setting of the formalism, briefly summarizing the main results of the classical formalism and its quantization. We then focus on recent results for small, Planck scale, black holes, where new structures have been shown to arise, in particular an effective quantization of the entropy. We discuss recent results that employ in a very effective manner results from number theory, providing a complete solution to the counting of black hole entropy. We end with some comments on other approaches that are motivated by loop quantum gravity.

Abstract:
We calculate the black hole entropy in Loop Quantum Gravity as a function of the horizon area and provide the exact formula for the leading and sub-leading terms. By comparison with the Bekenstein-Hawking formula we uniquely fix the value of the 'quantum of area' in the theory.