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It has long been recognized that lattice gauge theory formulations, when applied to general relativity, conflict with the invariance of the theory under diffeomorphisms. We analyze discrete lattice general relativity and develop a canonical formalism that allows one to treat constrained theories in Lorentzian signature space-times. The presence of the lattice introduces a “dynamical gauge” fixing that makes the quantization of the theories conceptually clear, albeit computationally involved. The problem of a consistent algebra of constraints is automatically solved in our approach. The approach works successfully in other field theories as well, including topological theories. A simple cosmological application exhibits quantum elimination of the singularity at the big bang. © 2003 The American Physical Society.

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Physical Review Letters

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