Spin network coherent states for planar gravitational waves. I

Research paper by Donald E. Neville

Indexed on: 29 Apr '13Published on: 29 Apr '13Published in: General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology


This paper constructs coherent states for spin networks with planar symmetry. After gauge-fixing, the full SU(2) symmetry is broken to U(1), but one cannot simply use the U(1) limit of SU(2) coherent states, because the planar states exhibit an unexpected O(3) symmetry arising from the closed loop character of the transverse directions. The coherent states constructed in this paper obey this symmetry. They are superpositions of holonomies which obey the residual U(1) symmetry only on average; some holonomies in the superposition violate the symmetry, although the U(1) quantum numbers of these holonomies are peaked at values which obey the symmetry. Operators acting on coherent states give back a c-number times the original state, plus small correction states, which make the coherent state an approximate, rather than exact eigenstate of the operator. In a follow-on paper, these small correction states are used to calculate small corrections to the volume operator.