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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
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2006 Foundational Questions in Physics and Cosmology
Awardees; RFP download

Lorenzo Maccone
Universita' di Pavia

Seth Lloyd
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Vittorio Giovannetti
Scuola Normale Superiore

Project Title

Quantum Spacetime from Events

Project Summary

Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity are the two theories that best describe our world. Neither has been falsified, but it seems they cannot both be correct: they appear incompatible in regimes where experimental tests have not been performed yet. One of the principal quests of modern theoretical physics is producing a single theory that encompasses both. This project will address a key point of this endeavor by providing a quantization of spacetime. Spacetime is the arena where events happen: it is connected to space and time, and its properties are well described by general relativity. How events happen is, instead, well described by quantum mechanics, as general relativity can do so only approximately (classical approximation). A quantum spacetime is then fundamental to obtain both the ``where'' and the ``how''. We will exploit a new technique (conditional probability amplitudes) that has received up to now little attention because it was widely believed to be useless in this context. Having shown that it is instead viable, we will extend it to attack the quantization of spacetime. It provides peculiar solutions to both the measurement problem and the problem of time that are two major roadblocks in this context.

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