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

Ivette Fuentes
University of Vienna

Stefano Mancini
Universiai di Camerino

David Edward Bruschi
University of York

Project Title

Quantum Observers in a Relativistic World

Project Summary

The notion of observers in Quantum Theory (QT) is inseparable from the notion of measurements, since observations collapse the state of the system into a state that depends on the choice of measurements made by a conscious observer. This is contrary to what occurs in classical physics, where observers use clocks and rods to make measurements and observations do not affect systems. Space and time are very different notions for quantum observers. Time is an absolute parameter and thus all clocks tick at the same rate. However, positions can be quantized and systems can occupy different positions at the same time. On the other hand, observers in General Relativity (GR) see time and space as one and the same thing. Time is relative and can flow at different rates in different places. Einstein believed that space and time were not real, in the sense that they depended on the state of motion of the observer. Understanding how quantum and relativistic effects occur jointly is an open question. A consistent description of clocks and rods, is at the heart of our difficulty to unify the theories.

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