Large Grants
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Previous Programs

2016 Physics of the Observer
2016 Awardees

2015 The Physics of What Happens
2015 Awardees

2013 Physics of Information
2013 Awardees

2010 The Nature of Time
2010 Awardees

2008 Foundational Questions in Physics and Cosmology
2008 Awardees

2006 Foundational Questions in Physics and Cosmology
2006 Awardees

Dr. Stephon Alexander
Haverford College


Abhay Ashtekar, Pennsylvania State University
Martin Bojowald, Pennsylvania State University

Project Title

Foundational Questions in Cosmology and Quantum Gravity

Project Summary

This proposal requests support for research on five projects at the interface of cosmology, quantum field theory, quantum gravity and conceptual foundations of physics. The overall goal is to seek new physical and potentially observable effects by exploiting the tension between deep conceptual issues in fundamental theories. Specifically, we will analyze notions of time that can emerge in the cosmological context and their physical implications, study the possibility that the weak force and the observed violation of mirror symmetry in Nature may originate in quantum effects of gravity, explore the origin of the arrow of time, investigate how information can leak out of black holes, and analyze whether multiverses can naturally arise in quantum gravity evolutions. This research will be carried out by three PIs (Stephon Alexander, Abhay Ashtekar and Martin Bojowald) with the help of students and post-docs each of whom will spend 2 - 3 weeks on specific aspects of these projects.

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