Large Grants
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Current Program

2017-18 Agency in the Physical World
Submit RFP by February 1, 2018
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. Olaf Dreyer
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Project Title

Quantum Space II

Project Summary

In the beginning of the last century theoretical physics was revolutionized with the emergence of quantum mechanics and Einstein's theory of general relativity. These theories have been extremely successful in explaining nature at very small scales and at very large scales. However, two problems have remained open since the inception of these theories. One problem concerns the foundations of quantum mechanics. Although quantum mechanics is so successful it is still fundamentally unclear how to relate the theory to the classical world around us. Quantum mechanics, in principle, allows for states of nature in which the same large object is in two places at once. This means we need a reason why we have not seen such states. In our proposal, we give such a reason by proposing a new relation between the classical world and the quantum world. The other problem concerns the union of quantum mechanics and general relativity. These two theories have been around for nearly a century but we still have no way of combining them. We are lacking a quantum theory of gravity. We propose such a theory by providing a new mechanism for the emergence of gravity. No propagation without gravitation is the basic principle behind our approach.

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