How to quantize gravity and how not to quantize gravity
Department of Physics, University of Connecticut, 06269, Storrs, CT, USA
Accepted: 20 February 2023
Published online: 21 March 2023
Taking the quantization of electromagnetism as the paradigm, we show how this same procedure cannot work for Einstein gravity. However, it does work for conformal gravity, a fourth-order derivative, renormalizable theory of gravity that Bender and Mannheim have shown to be ghost free. We show that in any gravity theory gravity cannot be quantized canonically. Rather, because of an interplay between the zero-point energy of gravity and that of its matter source, gravity is quantized purely by its coupling to a quantized matter source, with gravity being intrinsically quantum mechanical. Treating the zero-point energy this way provides a solution to the cosmological constant problem. With the gravitational zero-point energy issue having been ignored in standard Einstein gravity, it is not possible to solve the cosmological constant problem in standard gravity, since without the zero-point contribution gravity does not know where the zero of energy is. We review and discuss recent work on the quantization of gravity, with emphasis on second-order plus fourth-order gravity theories and on pure fourth-order ones.
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