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Previous Programs

2020 Consciousness in the Physical World

2019 Intelligence in the Physical World

2019 Information as Fuel

2018 Agency in the Physical World
Awardees; RFP download

2016 Physics of the Observer
Awardees; RFP download

2015 The Physics of What Happens
Awardees; RFP download

2013 Physics of Information
Awardees; RFP download

2010 The Nature of Time
Awardees; RFP download

2008 Foundational Questions in Physics and Cosmology
Awardees; RFP download

2006 Foundational Questions in Physics and Cosmology
Awardees; RFP download

Dr. Alexander Maloney
McGill University


Robert Brandenberger, McGill University
Jim Cline, McGill University
Keshav Dasgupta, McGill University

Project Title

The Holographic Wave Function of the Universe

Project Summary

Current models of cosmology, which are based on Einstein's theory of general relativity, successfully describe many features of our universe at its largest scales. However, in order to describe the dynamics of the universe at very early times - times shortly after the big bang - a quantum theory of gravity is necessary. String theory, one of the most promising theories of quantum gravity, provides a host of powerful techniques, which can be used to attack problems in quantum cosmology. Moreover, many of these techniques allow us to understand quantum gravity in regimes where intuitive notions of space and time cease to apply. For example, the holographic principle - which relates a theory of quantum gravity in four dimensions to a simpler theory living in three dimensions - provides deep insights into quantum cosmology, which challenge traditional notions of classical space-time. As more realistic cosmologies are studied using these powerful holographic techniques, we both address basic conceptual puzzles in quantum gravity and face the exciting prospect of contact with observational data.

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