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- Self-organization of a 4D universe

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I propose a quantum gravity model in which the fundamental degrees of freedom are pure information bits for both discrete space-time points and links connecting them. The Hamiltonian is a very simple network model consisting of a ferromagnetic Ising model for space-time vertices and an antiferromagnetic Ising model for the links. As a result of the frustration arising between these two terms, the ground state self-organizes as a new type of low-clustering graph with finite Hausdorff dimension. The model has three quantum phases: a mean field phase in which the spectral and Hausdorff dimensions coincide and are larger then 4. A fluctuations-dominated phase in which the Hausdorff dimension can only be 4 and the spectral dimension is lower than the Hausdorff dimension and a disordered phase in which there is no space-time interpretation. The large-scale dimension 4 of the universe is related to the upper critical dimension 4 of the Ising model. An ultraviolet fixed point at the lower critical dimension of the Ising model implies the absence of space-time at very small scales. At finite temperatures the universe emerges without big bang and without singularities from a ferromagnetic phase transition in which space-time itself forms out of a hot soup of information bits. When the temperature is lowered the universe unfolds and expands by lowering its connectivity, a mechanism I have called topological expansion. The model admits also macroscopic black hole configurations corresponding to graphs containing holes with no space time inside and around which there are "Schwarzschild-like horizons" with a lower spectral dimension and an entropy proportional to their surface.

©2012 Institut Périmètre de Physique Théorique