Loop quantum gravity without the Hamiltonian constraint

Norbert Bodendorfer, Alexander Stottmeister, Andreas Thurn
March 29, 2012
We show that under certain technical assumptions, including the existence of a constant mean curvature (CMC) slice and strict positivity of the scalar field, general relativity conformally coupled to a scalar field can be quantised on a partially reduced phase space, meaning reduced only with respect to the Hamiltonian constraint and a proper gauge fixing. More precisely, we introduce, in close analogy to shape dynamics, the generator of a local conformal transformation acting on both, the metric and the scalar field, which coincides with the CMC gauge condition. A new metric, which is invariant under this transformation, is constructed and used to define connection variables which can be quantised by standard loop quantum gravity methods. While it is hard to address dynamical problems in this framework (due to the complicated 'time' function), it seems, due to good accessibility properties of the CMC gauge, to be well suited for problems such as the computation of black hole entropy, where actual physical states can be counted and the dynamics is only of indirect importance. The corresponding calculation yields the surprising result that the usual prescription of fixing the Barbero-Immirzi parameter beta to a constant value in order to obtain the well-known formula S = a(Phi) A/(4G) does not work for the black holes under consideration, while a recently proposed prescription involving an analytic continuation of beta to the case of a self-dual space-time connection yields the correct result. Also, the interpretation of the geometric operators gets an interesting twist, which exemplifies the deep relationship between observables and the choice of a time function and has consequences for loop quantum cosmology.