Abstract:
In the present paper, we start from the canonical theory of loop quantum gravity and the master constraint programme. The physical inner product is expressed by using the group averaging technique for a single self-adjoint master constraint operator. By the standard technique of skeletonization and the coherent state path-integral, we derive a path-integral formula from the group averaging for the master constraint operator. Our derivation in the present paper suggests there exists a direct link connecting the canonical Loop quantum gravity with a path-integral quantization or a spin-foam model of General Relativity.

Abstract:
This article serves as a continuation for the discussion in arXiv:0911.3433, we analyze the invariance properties of the gravity path-integral measure derived from canonical framework, and discuss which path-integral formula may be employed in the concrete computation e.g. constructing a spin-foam model, so that the final model can be interpreted as a physical inner product in the canonical theory.

Abstract:
A new q-deformation of the Euclidean EPRL/FK vertex amplitude is proposed by using the evaluation of the Vassiliev invariant associated with a 4-simplex graph (related to two copies of quantum SU(2) group at different roots of unity) embedded in a 3-sphere. We show that the large-j asymptotics of the q-deformed vertex amplitude gives the Regge action with a cosmological constant. In the end we also discuss its relation with a Chern-Simons theory on the boundary of 4-simplex.

Abstract:
We study the quantum group deformation of the Lorentzian EPRL spin-foam model. The construction uses the harmonic analysis on the quantum Lorentz group. We show that the quantum group spin-foam model so defined is free of the infra-red divergence, thus gives a finite partition function on a fixed triangulation. We expect this quantum group spin-foam model is a spin-foam quantization of discrete gravity with a cosmological constant.

Abstract:
In the last 20 years, loop quantum gravity, a background independent approach to unify general relativity and quantum mechanics, has been widely investigated. The aim of loop quantum gravity is to construct a mathematically rigorous, background independent, nonperturbative quantum theory for the Lorentzian gravitational field on a four-dimensional manifold. In this approach, the principles of quantum mechanics are combined with those of general relativity naturally. Such a combination provides us a picture of "quantum Riemannian geometry", which is discrete at a fundamental scale. In the investigation of quantum dynamics, the classical expressions of constraints are quantized as operators. The quantum evolution is contained in the solutions of the quantum constraint equations. On the other hand, the semi-classical analysis has to be carried out in order to test the semiclassical limit of the quantum dynamics. In this thesis, the structure of the dynamical theory in loop quantum gravity is presented pedagogically. The outline is as follows: first we review the classical formalism of general relativity as a dynamical theory of connections. Then the kinematical Ashtekar-Isham-Lewandowski representation is introduced as a foundation of loop quantum gravity. We discuss the construction of a Hamiltonian constraint operator and the master constraint programme, for both the cases of pure gravity and matter field coupling. Finally, some strategies are discussed concerning testing the semiclassical limit of the quantum dynamics.

Abstract:
We study the semiclassical behavior of Lorentzian Engle-Pereira-Rovelli-Livine (EPRL) spinfoam model, by taking into account of the sum over spins in the large spin regime. The large spin parameter \lambda and small Barbero-Immirzi parameter \gamma are treated as two independent parameters for the asymptotic expansion of spinfoam state-sum (such an idea was firstly pointed out in arXiv:1105.0216). Interestingly, there are two different spin regimes: 1<<\gamma^{-1}<<\lambda<<\gamma^{-2} and \lambda>\gamma^{-2}. The model in two spin regimes has dramatically different number of effective degrees of freedom. In 1<<\gamma^{-1}<<\lambda<<\gamma^{-2}, the model produces in the leading order a functional integration of Regge action, which gives the discrete Einstein equation for the leading contribution. There is no restriction of Lorentzian deficit angle in this regime. In the other regime \lambda>\gamma^{-2}, only small deficit angle is allowed |\Theta_f|<<\gamma^{-1}\lambda^{1/2}$ mod 4\pi Z. When spins go even larger, only zero deficit angle mod 4\pi Z is allowed asymptotically. In the transition of the two regimes, only the configurations with small deficit angle can contribute, which means one need a large triangulation in order to have oscillatory behavior of the spinfoam amplitude.

Abstract:
We study the semiclassical behavior of Lorentzian Engle-Pereira-Rovelli-Livine (EPRL) spinfoam model, by taking into account the sum over spins in the large spin regime. We also employ the method of stationary phase analysis with parameters and the so called, almost-analytic machinery, in order to find the asymptotic behavior of the contributions from all possible large spin configurations in the spinfoam model. The spins contributing the sum are written as ${J}_f=\lambda {j}_f$ where $\l$ is a large parameter resulting in an asymptotic expansion via stationary phase approximation. The analysis shows that at least for the simplicial Lorentzian geometries (as spinfoam critical configurations), they contribute the leading order approximation of spinfoam amplitude only when their deficit angles satisfy $\gamma{\Theta}_f\leq\lambda^{-1/2}$ mod $4\pi\mathbb{Z}$. Our analysis results in a curvature expansion of the semiclassical low energy effective action from the spinfoam model, where the UV modifications of Einstein gravity appear as subleading high-curvature corrections.

Abstract:
A low-energy perturbation theory is developed from the nonperturbative framework of covariant Loop Quantum Gravity (LQG) by employing the background field method. The resulting perturbation theory is a 2-parameter expansion in the semiclassical and low-energy regime. The two expansion parameters are the large spin and small curvature. The leading order effective action coincides with the Einstein-Hilbert action. The subleading corrections organized by the two expansion parameters give the modifications of Einstein gravity in quantum and high-energy regime from LQG. The perturbation theory developed here shows for the first time that covariant LQG produces the high curvature corrections to Einstein gravity. This result means that LQG is not a naive quantization of Einstein gravity, but rather provides the UV modification. The result of the paper may be viewed as the first step toward understanding the UV completeness of LQG.

Abstract:
A class of 3d $\mathcal{N}=2$ supersymmetric gauge theories are constructed and shown to encode the simplicial geometries in 4-dimensions. The gauge theories are defined by applying the Dimofte-Gaiotto-Gukov construction in 3d/3d correspondence to certain graph complement 3-manifolds. Given a gauge theory in this class, the massive supersymmetric vacua of the theory contain the classical geometries on a 4d simplicial complex. The corresponding 4d simplicial geometries are locally constant curvature (either dS or AdS), in the sense that they are made by gluing geometrical 4-simplices of the same constant curvature. When the simplicial complex is sufficiently refined, the simplicial geometries can approximate all possible smooth geometries on 4-manifold. At the quantum level, we propose that a class of holomorphic blocks defined in arXiv:1211.1986 from the 3d $\mathcal{N}=2$ gauge theories are wave functions of quantum 4d simplicial geometries. In the semiclassical limit, the asymptotic behavior of holomorphic block reproduces the classical action of 4d Einstein-Hilbert gravity in the simplicial context.

Abstract:
Canonical quantisation of constrained systems with first class constraints via Dirac's operator constraint method proceeds by the thory of Rigged Hilbert spaces, sometimes also called Refined Algebraic Quantisation (RAQ). This method can work when the constraints form a Lie algebra. When the constraints only close with nontrivial structure functions, the Rigging map can no longer be defined. To overcome this obstacle, the Master Constraint Method has been proposed which replaces the individual constraints by a weighted sum of absolute squares of the constraints. Now the direct integral decomposition methods (DID), which are closely related to Rigged Hilbert spaces, become available and have been successfully tested in various situations. It is relatively straightforward to relate the Rigging Inner Product to the path integral that one obtains via reduced phase space methods. However, for the Master Constraint this is not at all obvious. In this paper we find sufficient conditions under which such a relation can be established. Key to our analysis is the possibility to pass to equivalent, Abelian constraints, at least locally in phase space. Then the Master Constraint DID for those Abelian constraints can be directly related to the Rigging Map and therefore has a path integral formulation.