Physical Review D
American Physical Society
Beginning with the work of Dirac and of Arnowitt, Deser, and Misner in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and then after subsequent development by Kuchař, the canonical dynamical structure of general relativity has often been viewed as that of a parametrized field theory in which the many-fingered spacetime variables are hidden among the geometrodynamical field variables. This paradigm of general relativity as an "already parametrized" theory forms the basis for one of the most satisfactory resolutions of the problems of time and observables in classical and quantum gravity. However, despite decades of effort, no identification of many-fingered spacetime variables has ever been satisfactorily obtained for vacuum general relativity. We point out that there is an obstruction to identifying the constraint surface of general relativity (for the case of a closed universe) with that of any parametrized theory. Therefore, strictly speaking, general relativity cannot be viewed as a parametrized field theory. We discuss implications for the canonical quantization program.
C.G. Torre, Is general relativity an already parametrized theory?, Physical Review D, vol. 46, Oct. 1992, p. R3231.