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The holy grail of theoretical physics is to find the theory of everything that combines all the forces of nature, including gravity. This book addresses the question: how far are we from such discovery? Over the last few decades, multiple roads to finding a quantum theory of gravity have been proposed but no obvious description of nature has emerged in this domain. What is to be made of this situation? This volume probes the state-of-the art in this daunting quest of theoretical physics by collecting critical interviews with nearly forty leading theorists in this field. These broad-ranging conversations give important insights and candid opinions on the various approaches to quantum gravity, including string theory, loop quantum gravity, causal set theory and asymptotic safety. This unique, readable overview provides a gateway into cutting edge research for students and others who wish to engage with the open problem of quantum gravity.
Loop quantum gravity has formalized a robust scheme in resolving classical singularities in a variety of symmetry-reduced models of gravity. In this essay, we demonstrate that the same quantum correction that is crucial for singularity resolution is also responsible for the phenomenon of signature change in these models, whereby one effectively transitions from a `fuzzy' Euclidean space to a Lorentzian space-time in deep quantum regimes. As long as one uses a quantization scheme that respects covariance, holonomy corrections from loop quantum gravity generically leads to nonsingular signature change, thereby giving an emergent notion of time in the theory. Robustness of this mechanism is established by comparison across a large class of midisuperspace models and allowing for diverse quantization ambiguities. Conceptual and mathematical consequences of such an underlying quantum-deformed spacetime are briefly discussed.