## Institut für Physik und Astronomie

In this thesis we provide a construction of the operator framework starting from the functional formulation of group field theory (GFT). We define operator algebras on Hilbert spaces whose expectation values in specific states provide correlation functions of the functional formulation. Our construction allows us to give a direct relation between the ingredients of the functional GFT and its operator formulation in a perturbative regime. Using this construction we provide an example of GFT states that can not be formulated as states in a Fock space and lead to math- ematically inequivalent representations of the operator algebra. We show that such inequivalent representations can be grouped together by their symmetry properties and sometimes break the left translation symmetry of the GFT action. We interpret these groups of inequivalent representations as phases of GFT, similar to the classification of phases that we use in QFT’s on space-time.

Despite remarkable progress made in the past century, which has revolutionized our understanding of the universe, there are numerous open questions left in theoretical physics. Particularly important is the fact that the theories describing the fundamental interactions of nature are incompatible. Einstein's theory of general relative describes gravity as a dynamical spacetime, which is curved by matter and whose curvature determines the motion of matter. On the other hand we have quantum field theory, in form of the standard model of particle physics, where particles interact via the remaining interactions - electromagnetic, weak and strong interaction - on a flat, static spacetime without gravity. A theory of quantum gravity is hoped to cure this incompatibility by heuristically replacing classical spacetime by quantum spacetime'. Several approaches exist attempting to define such a theory with differing underlying premises and ideas, where it is not clear which is to be preferred. Yet a minimal requirement is the compatibility with the classical theory, they attempt to generalize. Interestingly many of these models rely on discrete structures in their definition or postulate discreteness of spacetime to be fundamental. Besides the direct advantages discretisations provide, e.g. permitting numerical simulations, they come with serious caveats requiring thorough investigation: In general discretisations break fundamental diffeomorphism symmetry of gravity and are generically not unique. Both complicates establishing the connection to the classical continuum theory. The main focus of this thesis lies in the investigation of this relation for spin foam models. This is done on different levels of the discretisation / triangulation, ranging from few simplices up to the continuum limit. In the regime of very few simplices we confirm and deepen the connection of spin foam models to discrete gravity. Moreover, we discuss dynamical, e.g. diffeomorphism invariance in the discrete, to fix the ambiguities of the models. In order to satisfy these conditions, the discrete models have to be improved in a renormalisation procedure, which also allows us to study their continuum dynamics. Applied to simplified spin foam models, we uncover a rich, non--trivial fixed point structure, which we summarize in a phase diagram. Inspired by these methods, we propose a method to consistently construct the continuum theory, which comes with a unique vacuum state.

Motivated by recent proposals on the experimental detectability of quantum gravity effects, the present thesis investigates assumptions and methods which might be used for the prediction of such effects within the framework of loop quantum gravity. To this end, a scalar field coupled to gravity is considered as a model system. Starting from certain assumptions about the dynamics of the coupled gravity-matter system, a quantum theory for the scalar field is proposed. Then, assuming that the gravitational field is in a semiclassical state, a "QFT on curved space-time limit" of this theory is defined. In contrast to ordinary quantum field theory on curved space-time however, in this limit the theory describes a quantum scalar field propagating on a (classical) random lattice. Then, methods to obtain the low energy limit of such a lattice theory, especially regarding the resulting modified dispersion relations, are discussed and applied to simple model systems. Finally, under certain simplifying assumptions, using the methods developed before as well as a specific class of semiclassical states, corrections to the dispersion relations for the scalar and the electromagnetic field are computed within the framework of loop quantum gravity. These calculations are of preliminary character, as many assumptions enter whose validity remains to be studied more thoroughly. However they exemplify the problems and possibilities of making predictions based on loop quantum gravity that are in principle testable by experiment.