Quantum gravity for the loopy - Barak Shoshany

Quantum gravity is one of the hardest and most important unsolved problems in physics. I will first discuss the technical and conceptual problems which arise when one tries to quantize general relativity naively, and why we want to do so in the first place. Then, I will explore and compare several of the most popular approaches to solving this problem, including string theory, loop quantum gravity, and others. I will provide a semi-technical introduction to loop quantum gravity at a level suitable for advanced undergraduates, and present its advantages and disadvantages. Finally, I will discuss my own research in loop quantum gravity, where I showed that the quantum states of discrete spacetime in loop quantum gravity, called spin networks, naturally arise from discretizing general relativity at the classical level.