Review of Quantum Space: : Loop Quantum Gravity and the Search for the Structure of Space, Time, and the Universe by Jim Baggott

Phillip Helbig

The Observatory, 139, 1270, 128–130 (June 2019)

This is a book review of Quantum Space by Jim Baggott, a popular-science book about loop quantum gravity (LQG), though longer and more detailed than most such books. It was written with the cooperation of Carlo Rovelli and Lee Smolin, two of the principal players in that game, and includes many personal anecdotes and direct quotations from them. The chapters are divided into three parts: "Foundations" sets the scene with a recap of well known physics, concentrating on general relativity and quantum mechanics; "Formulation" is a review of the history of LQG; "Elaborations" discusses current topics in LQG as well as other topics which are related and/or of interest to Rovelli and/or Smolin, such interpretations of quantum mechanics, cosmological natural selection, and the nature of time. The chapters in the third part are followed by an epilogue, which is essentially an annotated conversation with Rovelli and Smolin. Already in the preface, it is clear that this is not just a book about LQG, but also one which clearly favours LQG over string theory. At the same time, it is also made clear that there is no observational evidence for LQG and that the theory is incomplete. The book is a good introduction to LQG and related ideas and enjoyable to read.

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