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Thermal Quantum Spacetime

Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute), Am Mühlenberg 1, 14476 Potsdam-Golm, Germany
Institut für Physik, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Newtonstraße 15, 12489 Berlin, Germany
Universe 2019, 5(8), 187;
Received: 2 July 2019 / Revised: 6 August 2019 / Accepted: 7 August 2019 / Published: 12 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progress in Group Field Theory and Related Quantum Gravity Formalisms)
The intersection of thermodynamics, quantum theory and gravity has revealed many profound insights, all the while posing new puzzles. In this article, we discuss an extension of equilibrium statistical mechanics and thermodynamics potentially compatible with a key feature of general relativity, background independence; and we subsequently use it in a candidate quantum gravity system, thus providing a preliminary formulation of a thermal quantum spacetime. Specifically, we emphasise an information-theoretic characterisation of generalised Gibbs equilibrium that is shown to be particularly suited to background independent settings, and in which the status of entropy is elevated to being more fundamental than energy. We also shed light on its intimate connections with the thermal time hypothesis. Based on this, we outline a framework for statistical mechanics of quantum gravity degrees of freedom of combinatorial and algebraic type, and apply it in several examples. In particular, we provide a quantum statistical basis for the origin of covariant group field theories, shown to arise as effective statistical field theories of the underlying quanta of space in a certain class of generalised Gibbs states. View Full-Text
Keywords: background independence; generalised statistical equilibrium; quantum gravity; entropy background independence; generalised statistical equilibrium; quantum gravity; entropy
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Kotecha, I. Thermal Quantum Spacetime. Universe 2019, 5, 187.

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