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We have recently introduced an approach for studying perturbatively classical and quantum canonical general relativity. The perturbative technique appears to preserve many of the attractive features of the non-perturbative quantization approach based on Ashtekar's new variables and spin networks. With this approach one can find perturbatively classical observables (quantities that have vanishing Poisson brackets with the constraints) and quantum states (states that are annihilated by the quantum constraints). The relative ease with which the technique appears to deal with these traditionally hard problems opens up several questions concerning how relevant the results produced can possibly be. Among the questions is the issue of how useful are results for large values of the cosmological constant and how the approach can deal with several pathologies that are expected to be present in the canonical approach to quantum gravity. With the aim of clarifying these points, and to make our construction as explicit as possible, we study its application in several simple models. We consider Bianchi cosmologies, the asymmetric top, coupled harmonic oscillators with constant energy density and a simple quantum mechanical system with two Hamiltonian constraints. We find that the technique satisfactorily deals with the pathologies of these models and offers promise for finding (at least some) results even for small values of the cosmological constant. Finally, we briefly sketch how the method would operate in the full four-dimensional quantum genneral relativity case.

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Classical and Quantum Gravity

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