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Previous Programs

2018 Agency in the Physical World
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2016 Physics of the Observer
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2015 The Physics of What Happens
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2013 Physics of Information
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2010 The Nature of Time
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2008 Foundational Questions in Physics and Cosmology
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2006 Foundational Questions in Physics and Cosmology
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Dr. Yong-Shi Wu
University of Utah


Fuwen Shu, Asia Pacific Center for Theoretical Physics

Project Title

Stochastic Approach to Quantum Gravity and Cosmology

Project Summary

Einstein's General Theory of Relativity is the fundamental theory of space-time and gravitation of our time. Quantum theory is the dynamical theory of atomic and subatomic particles and fields that mediate fundamental interactions (except gravity). Both are well-tested and universally accepted, but they are known to be incompatible with each other. How to unify the two fundamental theories of our physical world remains a challenge since the thirties of last century. In unifying gravity with quantum theory, many school of thoughts hold that general relativity should be modified, but whether or how quantum theory should be modified has been not thought of as thoroughly. We suggest to apply a stochastic (random) approach, that directly starts with studying the effects of quantum fluctuations, which are known at the root of many phenomena peculiar to quantum theory. We will apply such an approach to quantum dynamics of black holes and to inflationary cosmology of early universe. Either (partial) success or failure of this approach to gravity or cosmology will shed light, from a more physical (rather than formal) point of view, on the problem of whether or how quantum theory should be modified for a successful unifying theory of quantum gravity.

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