Quantized geometry via representation theory

Dan Christensen (University of Western Ontario)

In this talk I will give an overview of the spin foam approach to quantum gravity, developed by John Baez, Mike Reisenberger, Lee Smolin and others.  States for quantum geometry are given by labelled simplicial complexes, and transition amplitudes are defined using fun diagrammatic methods in SU(2) representation theory.  After giving the background, I will discuss the computational difficulties that come up when trying to do calculations in this theory and will describe new algorithms due to Greg Egan, John Baez and myself which have allowed us to make the first computations.  No previous exposure to the subject will be assumed.

Spring 2002 CTS/PNGS meeting