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Previous Programs

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

Carlo Rovelli
CPT Marseille

Project Title

Quantum events as the basis of quantum mechanics and quantum gravity

Project Summary

Most basic physics concepts, such as classical space and time, particles, fields, energy-momentum ..., lose their meaning, or require severe revision, in the regimes where quantum gravity phenomena are become non-negligible. The notion of "event" does not, and may represent the central concept on which the theory of quantum gravity can be constructed. Events are "happenings of something somewhere at some time". This scant conceptual structure may be sufficient to ground a theory of quantum spacetime. The aim of this project is to develop such a foundation and to test it in a concrete calculation: computing the time for a black hole to explode via a non perturbative quantum process. If events can be taken as the elementary n of physics, we seem to be forced to understand identity across time only as a secondary notion. Processes, rather than individuals, structure the world, as i the famous Wittgenstein’s Tractatus incipit "The world is the totality of the facts, not of things".

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