Large Grants
    - Introduction
    - Awardees
Mini-Grants
    - Introduction
    - Winners
 
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

Edward Anderson
Universite Paris 7 - Denis Diderot

Project Title

The Problem of Time in Quantum Gravity

Project Summary

Quantum gravity is required when two of 20th century physics' most spectacular successes both apply: quantum theory and Einstein's general relativity. Unfortunately, these individually successful theories fail to be compatible with each other! Some physicists (myself included) expect this to be related to how these theories have different (and incompatible) notions of what time is. Quantum general relativity's equations look frozen: ie featuring no time notion at all! Physicists then try to find a time hidden within, or a time that emerges under certain circumstances (eg when the whole universe is near-classical rather than more bizarre quantum possibilities), or see how much of physics can actually be done in timeless terms (e.g. correlations within a given snapshot). None of these strategies so far work in detail, so I propose combining three that look to reinforce each other: near-classicality, timeless snapshots and consideration of universe-histories. All this being too hard to calculate for full general relativity, I use simpler models that happen to capture most of the features of general relativity essential to these strategies: the triangle and quadrilateral of particles studied without reference to Newtonian background time and space since general relativity pointedly has none of these.



Back to List of Awardees  
Please enter your e-mail address:

Note: Joining the FQXi mailing list does not give you a login account or constitute membership in the organization.