Spacetime and the quantum: united by history
- Publicado el 6 ene 2014
- Professor Fay Dowker presents her Inaugural Lecture.
Two major scientific developments - relativity and quantum theory - have advanced our understanding of the physical world. However, despite their success in predicting experimental results, they remain revolutions in waiting.
I will argue that the full potential of these discoveries will only be realised when they are brought together into a unified whole. The revolution that general relativity represents - the replacement of three-dimensional space with four-dimensional space-time as both stage and actor in the universe's grand play - has so far been only partially incorporated into the scientific practice of fundamental physics.
Taking space-time seriously, as general relativity demands, means adopting the Dirac-Feynman 'sum-over-histories' approach to quantum theory and gives us our best chance of discovering a theory of quantum gravity, a framework for all of physics.
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