Abstract:
This article traces the impact of reality on the development of communication skills, and the manner in which these skills are in turn refined and by repetition develop into literary conventions. Furthermore, the influence which literary convention then exerts on social attitudes and on the development of new literary conventions are traced. This article is a literary study, though all examples are from or related to the Hebrew Bible(Old Testament).

Abstract:
The evolution operator for states of gauge theories in the graph representation (closely related to the loop representation of Gambini and Trias, and Rovelli and Smolin) is formulated as a weighted sum over worldsheets interpolating between initial and final graphs. As examples, lattice $SU(2)$ BF and Yang-Mills theories are expressed as worldsheet theories, and (formal) worldsheet forms of several continuum $U(1)$ theories are given. It is argued that the world sheet framework should be ideal for representing GR, at least euclidean GR, in 4 dimensions, because it is adapted to both the 4-diffeomorphism invariance of GR, and the discreteness of 3-geometry found in the loop representation quantization of the theory. However, the weighting of worldsheets in GR has not yet been found.

Abstract:
Ashtekar's canonical theory of classical complex Euclidean GR (no Lorentzian reality conditions) is found to be invariant under the full algebra of infinitesimal 4-diffeomorphisms, but non-invariant under some finite proper 4-diffeos when the densitized dreibein, $\tilE^a_i$, is degenerate. The breakdown of 4-diffeo invariance appears to be due to the inability of the Ashtekar Hamiltonian to generate births and deaths of $\tilE$ flux loops (leaving open the possibility that a new `causality condition' forbidding the birth of flux loops might justify the non-invariance of the theory). A fully 4-diffeo invariant canonical theory in Ashtekar's variables, derived from Plebanski's action, is found to have constraints that are stronger than Ashtekar's for $rank\tilE < 2$. The corresponding Hamiltonian generates births and deaths of $\tilE$ flux loops. It is argued that this implies a finite amplitude for births and deaths of loops in the physical states of quantum GR in the loop representation, thus modifying this (partly defined) theory substantially. Some of the new constraints are second class, leading to difficulties in quantization in the connection representation. This problem might be overcome in a very nice way by transforming to the classical loop variables, or the `Faraday line' variables of Newman and Rovelli, and then solving the offending constraints. Note that, though motivated by quantum considerations, the present paper is classical in substance.

Abstract:
A classical continuum theory corresponding to Barrett and Crane's model of Euclidean quantum gravity is presented. The fields in this classical theory are those of SO(4) BF theory, a simple topological theory of an so(4) valued 2-form field, $B^{IJ}_{\m\n}$, and an so(4) connection. The left handed (self-dual) and right handed (anti-self-dual) components of $B$ define a left handed and a, generally distinct, right handed area for each spacetime 2-surface. The theory being presented is obtained by adding to the BF action a Lagrange multiplier term that enforces the constraint that the left handed and the right handed areas be equal. It is shown that Euclidean general relativity (GR) forms a sector of the resulting theory. The remaining three sectors of the theory are also characterized and it is shown that, except in special cases, GR canonical initial data is sufficient to specify the GR sector as well as a specific solution within this sector. Finally, the path integral quantization of the theory is discussed at a formal level and a hueristic argument is given suggesting that in the semiclassical limit the path integral is dominated by solutions in one of the non-GR sectors, which would mean that the theory quantized in this way is not a quantization of GR.

Abstract:
Free initial data for general relativity on a pair of intersecting null hypersurfaces are well known, but the lack of a Poisson bracket and concerns about caustics have stymied the development of a constraint free canonical theory. Here it is pointed out how caustics and generator crossings can be neatly avoided and a Poisson bracket on free data is given. On sufficiently regular functions of the solution spacetime geometry this bracket matches the Poisson bracket defined on such functions by the Hilbert action via Peierls' prescription. The symplectic form is also given in terms of free data.

Abstract:
An action for simplicial euclidean general relativity involving only left-handed fields is presented. The simplicial theory is shown to converge to continuum general relativity in the Plebanski formulation as the simplicial complex is refined. This contrasts with the Regge model for which Miller and Brewin have shown that the full field equations are much more restrictive than Einstein's in the continuum limit. The action and field equations of the proposed model are also significantly simpler then those of the Regge model when written directly in terms of their fundamental variables. An entirely analogous hypercubic lattice theory, which approximates Plebanski's form of general relativity is also presented.

Abstract:
A lattice model for four dimensional Euclidean quantum general relativity is proposed for a simplicial spacetime. It is shown how this model can be expressed in terms of a sum over worldsheets of spin networks, and an interpretation of these worldsheets as spacetime geometries is given, based on the geometry defined by spin networks in canonical loop quantized GR. The spacetime geometry has a Planck scale discreteness which arises "naturally" from the discrete spectrum of spins of SU(2) representations (and not from the use of a spacetime lattice). The lattice model of the dynamics is a formal quantization of the classical lattice model of \cite{Rei97a}, which reproduces, in a continuum limit, Euclidean general relativity.

Abstract:
It has been recently shown that a certain non-topological spin foam model can be obtained from the Feynman expansion of a field theory over a group. The field theory defines a natural ``sum over triangulations'', which removes the cut off on the number of degrees of freedom and restores full covariance. The resulting formulation is completely background independent: spacetime emerges as a Feynman diagram, as it did in the old two-dimensional matrix models. We show here that any spin foam model can be obtained from a field theory in this manner. We give the explicit form of the field theory action for an arbitrary spin foam model. In this way, any model can be naturally extended to a sum over triangulations. More precisely, it is extended to a sum over 2-complexes.

Abstract:
Barrett and Crane have proposed a model of simplicial Euclidean quantum gravity in which a central role is played by a class of Spin(4) spin networks called "relativistic spin networks" which satisfy a series of physically motivated constraints. Here a proof is presented that demonstrates that the intertwiner of a vertex of such a spin network is uniquely determined, up to normalization, by the representations on the incident edges and the constraints. Moreover, the constraints, which were formulated for four valent spin networks only, are extended to networks of arbitrary valence, and the generalized relativistic spin networks proposed by Yetter are shown to form the entire solution set (mod normalization) of the extended constraints. Finally, using the extended constraints, the Barrett-Crane model is generalized to arbitrary polyhedral complexes (instead of just simplicial complexes) representing spacetime. It is explained how this model, like the Barret-Crane model can be derived from BF theory by restricting the sum over histories to ones in which the left handed and right handed areas of any 2-surface are equal. It is known that the solutions of classical Euclidean GR form a branch of the stationary points of the BF action with respect to variations preserving this condition.

Abstract:
A hypersurface formed of two null sheets, or "light fronts", swept out by the future null normal geodesics emerging from a common spacelike 2-disk can serve as a Cauchy surface for a region of spacetime. Already in the 1960s free (unconstrained) initial data for general relativity were found for such hypersurfaces. Here an expression is obtained for the symplectic 2-form of vacuum general relativity in terms of such free data. This can be done, even though variations of the geometry do not in general preserve the nullness of the initial hypersurface, because of the diffeomorphism gauge invariance of general relativity. The present expression for the symplectic 2-form has been used previously to calculate the Poisson brackets of the free data.