An Introduction to Spin Foam Models of BF Theory and Quantum Gravity

  • John C. Baez
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Physics book series (LNP, volume 543)


In loop quantum gravity we now have a clear picture of the quantum geometry of space, thanks in part to the theory of spin networks. The concept of ‘spin foam’ is intended to serve as a similar picture for the quantum geometry of spacetime. In general, a spin network is a graph with edges labeled by represen- tations and vertices labeled by intertwining operators. Similarly, a spin foam is a 2-dimensional complex with faces labeled by representations and edges labeled by intertwining operators. In a ‘spin foam model’ we describe states as linear combina- tions of spin networks and compute transition amplitudes as sums over spin foams. This paper aims to provide a self-contained introduction to spin foam models of quantum gravity and a simpler field theory called BF theory.


Gauge Group Quantum Gravity Wilson Loop Quantum Group Loop Quantum Gravity 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • John C. Baez
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of MathematicsUniversity of CaliforniaRiverside, CaliforniaUSA

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