Physics Meets Philosophy at the Planck Scale: Contemporary Theories in Quantum Gravity

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Craig Callender, Nick Huggett
Cambridge University Press, Jan 29, 2001 - Science - 365 pages
The greatest challenge in fundamental physics attempts to reconcile quantum mechanics and general relativity in a theory of "quantum gravity." The project suggests a profound revision of the notions of space, time and matter. It has become a key topic of debate and collaboration between physicists and philosophers. This volume collects classic and original contributions from leading experts in both fields for a provocative discussion of the issues. It contains accessible introductions to the main and less-well-known known approaches to quantum gravity. It includes exciting topics such as the fate of spacetime in various theories, the so-called "problem of time" in canonical quantum gravity, black hole thermodynamics, and the relationship between the interpretation of quantum theory and quantum gravity. This book will be essential reading for anyone interested in the profound implications of trying to marry the two most important theories in physics.

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User Review  - fpagan - LibraryThing

The funny thing about this one is that the philosopher-authored chapters tend to be more mathematically impenetrable than the scientist-authored chapters. Read full review

Contents

Introduction
1
Theories of Quantum Gravity and their Philosophical Dimensions
31
Spacetime and the philosophical challenge of quantum gravity
33
Naive quantum gravity
90
Quantum spacetime What do we know?
101
Strings
123
Reflections on the fate of spacetime
125
A philosopher looks at string theory
138
On general covariance and best matching
199
PreSocratic quantum gravity
213
The origin of the spacetime metric Bells Lorentzian pedagogy and its significance in general relativity
256
Quantum Gravity and the Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics
273
Quantum spacetime without observers Ontological clarity and the conceptual foundations of quantum gravity
275
On gravitys role in quantum state reduction
290
Why the quantum must yield to gravity
305
References
339

Black holes dumb holes and entropy
152
Topological Quantum Field Theory
175
Higherdimensional algebra and Planck scale physics
177
Quantum Gravity and the Interpretation of General Relativity
197
Notes on contributors
357
Index
361
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