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

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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