Living Reviews in Relativity: Spin Foams and Minimal Length in Quantum Gravity

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Living Reviews in Relativity has published two new review articles on Quantum Gravity:

“The Spin-Foam Approach to Quantum Gravity” by Alejandro Perez and “Minimal Length Scale Scenarios for Quantum Gravity” by Sabine Hossenfelder.

Please find the abstract and further details below.

PUB.NO. lrr-2013-3
Perez, Alejandro
“The Spin-Foam Approach to Quantum Gravity”

ACCEPTED: 2012-06-11
PUBLISHED: 2012-02-14


This article reviews the present status of the spin-foam approach to the quantization of gravity. Special attention is payed to the pedagogical presentation of the recently-introduced new models for four-dimensional quantum gravity. The models are motivated by a suitable implementation of the path integral quantization of the Plebanski formulation of gravity on a simplicial regularization. The article also includes a self contained treatment of 2+1 gravity. The simple nature of the latter provides the basis and a perspective for the analysis of both conceptual and technical issues that remain open in four dimensions.

PUB.NO. lrr-2013-2
Hossenfelder, Sabine
“Minimal Length Scale Scenarios for Quantum Gravity”

ACCEPTED: 2012-10-11
PUBLISHED: 2013-01-29


We review the question whether the fundamental laws of nature limit our ability to probe arbitrarily short distances. First, we examine what insights can be gained from thought experiments for probes of shortest distances, and summarize what can be learned from different approaches to a theory of quantum gravity. Then we discuss some models that have been developed to implement a minimal length scale into quantum mechanics and quantum field theory. These models have entered the literature under the names of generalized uncertainty principle or modified dispersion relation, and have allowed to study the effects of a minimal length scale in quantum mechanics, quantum electrodynamics, thermodynamics, black hole physics and cosmology. Finally, we touch upon the question if there are ways to circumvent the manifestation of a minimal length scale in short-distance physics.