Intrinsic coherent states

A class of wave-packet states is given by the coherent states, which are states labelled by classical variables (position and momenta) that minimize the spread of both. Coherent states are the basic tool for studying the classical limit in quantum gravity. They connect quantum theory with classical general relativity. Coherent states in the Hilbert space of the theory can be used in proving the large distance behavior of the vertex amplitude and connecting it to the Einstein’s equations.

Given a classical tetrahedron, we can find a quantum state in Hγ such that all the dihedral angles are minimally spread around the classical values, these are the intrinsic coherent states

**Tetrahedron geometry**

Consider the geometry of a classical tetrahedron reviewed in Review of the Quantum Tetrahedron – part I . A tetrahedron in flat space can be determined by giving three vectors,, representing three of its sides emanating from a vertex P.

Forming a non-orthogonal coordinate system where the axes are along these vectors and the vectors determine the unit of coordinate length, then ei is the triad and

is the metric in these coordinates. The three vectors

are normal to the three triangles adjacent to P and their length is the area of these faces. The products

define the matrix h*ab* which is the inverse of the metric h =ea.eb. The volume of the tetrahedron is

Extending the range of the index a to 1, 2, 3, 4, and denote all the four normals, normalised to the area, as Ea. These satisfy the closure condition

The dihedral angle between two triangles is given by

Now we move to the quantum theory. Here, the quantities Ea are quantized as

in terms of the four operators La, which are the hermitian generators of the rotation group:

The commutator of two angles is:

From this commutation relation, the Heisenberg relation follows:

Now we want to look for states whose dispersion is small compared with their expectation value: semiclassical states where

**SU(2) coherent states**

Consider a single rotating particle. How do we write a state for which the dispersion of its angular momentum is minimized? If j is the quantum number of its total angular momentum, a basis of states is

we have the Heisenberg relations

Every state satisfies this inequality. A state |j,j> that saturatesis one for which.

In the large j limit we have

Therefore this state becomes sharp for large j.

The geometrical picture corresponding to this calculation is that the state |j, j> represents a spherical harmonic maximally concentrated on the North pole of the sphere, and the ratio between the spread and the radius decreases with the spin.

Other coherent states are obtained rotating the state |j, j> into an arbitrary direction n. Introducing Euler angles θ,Φ to label rotations,

Then let and define the matrix R in SO(3) of the form , With this, define:

The states |j,n> form a family of states, labelled by the continuous parameter n, which saturate the uncertainty relations for the angles. Some of their properties are the following.

For a generic direction n = (nx, ny, nz),therefore:

and

The expansion of these states in terms of Lz eigenstates is

The most important property of the coherent states is that they provide a resolution of the identity. That is

The left hand side is the identity in Hj. The integral is over all normalized vectors, therefore over a two sphere, with the standard R3 measure restricted to the unit sphere.

Observe that by taking tensor products of coherent states, we obtain coherent states. This follows from the properties of mean values and variance under tensor product.

**Livine-Speziale coherent intertwiners**

Now introduce “coherent tetrahedra” states. A classical tetrahedron is defined by the four areas Aa and the four normalized normals na, up to rotations. These satisfy

Therefore consider the coherent state;

and project it down to its invariant part in the projection

The resulting state

is the element of Hγ that describes the semiclassical tetrahedron. The projection can be explicitly implemented by integrating over SO(3);

###### Related articles

- Quantum tetrahedron and its classical limit by Daniel R. Terno (quantumtetrahedron.wordpress.com)
- Physical boundary state for the quantum tetrahedron by Livine and Speziale (quantumtetrahedron.wordpress.com)
- A new spinfoam vertex for quantum gravity by Livine and Speziale (quantumtetrahedron.wordpress.com)
- Review of the Quantum Tetrahedron – part 1 (quantumtetrahedron.wordpress.com)

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