Any of the various explanations of gravity as a quantum theory, including string theory and loop quantum gravity.

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862 views

The Reeh-Schlieder theorem and quantum geometry

There have been some very nice discussions recently centered around the question of whether gravity and the geometry and topology of the classical world we see about us, could be phenomena which ...
10
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7answers
2k views

What are cosmological “firewalls”?

Reading the funny title of this talk, Black Holes and Firewalls, just made me LOL because I have no idea what it is about but a lively imagination :-P (Sorry Raphael Bousso but the title is just too ...
10
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3answers
212 views

What is a graviton?

We know that a graviton is a hypothetical particle that carries gravitational energy. I have no definite knowledge in string theory, being a student; taking classical gravity into consideration or ...
10
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2answers
2k views

Is the firewall paradox really a paradox?

The firewall paradox is a very hot topic at the moment (1207.3123v4). Everyone who is anybody in theoretical physics seems to be jumping into the action (Maldacena, Polchinski, Susskind to name a ...
10
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1answer
558 views

The most general procedure for quantization

I recently read the following passage on page 137 in volume I of 'Quantum Fields and Strings: A course for Mathematicians' by Pierre Deligne and others (note that I am no mathematician and have not ...
10
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3answers
574 views

Hawking radiation and quark confinement

The simple picture of Hawking radiation is that a pair-antiparticle pair is produced near the event horizon, then one falls into the black hole while the other escapes. Suppose the particles are ...
10
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1answer
161 views

Quantum gravity at D = 3

Quantization of gravity (general relativity) seems to be impossible for spacetime dimension D >= 4. Instead, quantum gravity is described by string theory which is something more than quantization ...
10
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3answers
514 views

Does the dimensionality of phase space go up as the universe expands?

Ever since Hubble, it is well known that the universe is expanding from a Big Bang. The size of the universe had gone up by many many orders of magnitude as space expanded. If the dimensionality of ...
10
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2answers
1k views

Do traversable wormholes exist as solutions to string theory?

There has been some heated debate as to whether the laws of physics allow for traversable wormholes. Some physicists claim we require exotic matter to construct wormholes, but then others counter the ...
10
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5answers
1k views

What is the role spin-networks play in Loop Quantum Gravity?

This is a second question (in what will probably become a series) in my attempt to understand LQG a little. In the previous question I asked about the general concepts behind LQG to which space_cadet ...
10
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5answers
636 views

How important is the cosmic censorship conjecture?

I would like to know how important the cosmic censorship conjecture is? Should a quantum theory of gravity must obey this? It was never rigorously proved in classical GR too. What would be the ...
10
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2answers
207 views

Is there a 2D manifold on which the Dirac equation has a zero mode?

The two-dimensional (2D) Dirac equation $(\sigma_1iD_1+\sigma_2 iD_2)\psi=E\psi$ admits zero mode ($E=0$) solutions on a non-trivial gauge background, such as the zero mode at the core of a U(1) gauge ...
9
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5answers
4k views

Graduate School for Theoretical Physics [closed]

First off, let me just say that I am unsure if this question is appropriate for this site, and if the community deems it necessary, the question should be closed. So right now I am a fourth year ...
9
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2answers
1k views

Does anyone take the Wightman axioms seriously?

Does anyone take the Wightman axioms seriously? Mainly with respect to quantum gravity or gauge theores, abelian or non-abelian? Anyone doing any research on axiomatization of QFTs in some way?
9
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2answers
340 views

Why should the modes of the linearized metric perturbation be “wavefunctions” of gravitons (in the Randall-Sundrum model)?

In "An Alternative to Compactification" by Randall and Sundrum, they discuss the localization of "graviton modes" around the Planck brane in the Randall-Sundrum model where we have a compact fifth ...
9
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4answers
1k views

Discussion of the Rovelli's paper on the black hole entropy in Loop Quantum Gravity

In a recent discussion about black holes, space_cadet provided me with the following paper of Rovelli: Black Hole Entropy from Loop Quantum Gravity which claims to derive the Bekenstein-Hawking ...
9
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1answer
3k views

What happens to atoms inside a black hole?

Black holes have very high gravitational force that tends to crush everything. So as we know atoms in a molecule have inter-atomic spacing between them and further electrons also revolve at a certain ...
9
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3answers
2k views

Other possible theories (other than string theory) which are generalizations of the standard model with incorporation of gravity

The only finite mathematical framework that incorporates both the standard model of particle physics and gravity under one umbrella that I am aware of is string theory. I would like to know whether ...
9
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1answer
2k views

Is Poincare recurrence relevant to our universe?

If the theory of everything indicates a singularity-free and finite universe, will Poincare recurrence be relevant to the universe? If so, is there any interesting physical consequence, e.g. in ...
9
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1answer
390 views

Summing over topologies

Sometimes in quantum cosmology, when we are thinking about 'wave functions of the universe' we have in mind some sort of formal path integral, where we include not just the variations in the dynamical ...
9
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4answers
2k views

Can the Montevideo interpretation of quantum mechanics do what it claims?

Partly inspired by the great responses to a my previous physics.SE question about "reversing gravitational decoherence, today I was rereading the intriguing papers by Gambini, Pullin, Porto, et al., ...
9
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5answers
2k views

Why is Mendel Sachs's work not taken seriously? Or is it? [closed]

Back in college I remember coming across a few books in the physics library by Mendel Sachs. Examples are: General Relativity and Matter Quantum Mechanics and Gravity Quantum Mechanics from General ...
9
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1answer
511 views

Is John Nash's “Interesting Equation” really interesting?

As recently mentioned in the news, before his passing, John Nash worked on general relativity. According to the linked article John Nash's work is available online from his webpage. His work is ...
9
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2answers
574 views

Black hole complementarity - absorption of Hawking radiation

I try to understand two principles formulated by Leonard Susskind in his book The Black Hole War: 1, To any observer who remains outside a black hole, the stretched horizon appears to be a hot layer ...
9
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1answer
395 views

Gauge symmetries and elementary particles

The Weinberg-Witten theorem (disclaimer: I don't know this wikipedia entry) is usually mentioned as the reason why gravitons may not be composite particles. I do understand the proof of the theorem, ...
9
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3answers
409 views

Can the entropy density of a spacelike singularity arbitrarily exceed the inverse Planck volume?

For the purpose of this question, let's restrict ourselves to BKL singularities. BKL cosmologies are homogeneous Bianchi type XIII and IV cosmologies which exhibit oscillatory chaotic behavior, ...
8
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2answers
1k views

The energy of a Graviton

Maybe another stupid question, but what's the energy of a graviton? Is it $\hbar \omega$? Does it emit gravitons when an apple falls onto the ground, like photons be emitted when an electron transits ...
8
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1answer
806 views

Why quantising gravity necessarily give us gravitons?

Gravitons are supposed to be the quanta of gravitational field My question is, if we do not know how to quantize gravity yet, how do we know that quantizing it in principle should give us gravitons, ...
8
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3answers
632 views

Does a UV completion of gravity necessarily need to be so drastic as String Theory or LQG?

First of all I, it is my understanding that the problems one encounters with the non-renormalizability of gravity are very similar (if not the same) as one encounters in any non-renormalizable theory. ...
8
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1answer
1k views

Where does the $10^{500}$ estimate for the number of stringy vacua come from?

This number is thrown around a lot so I'd like to understand its origin. I know that it counts compactifications of string theories on (not only) Calabi-Yau manifolds and probably also some other ...
8
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3answers
708 views

Is anyone studying how the general topology of spacetime arises from more fundamental notions?

Stephen Wolfram in his book A New Kind of Science touches on a model of space itself based on automata theory. That it, he makes some suggestions about modelling not only the behaviour of matter ...
8
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2answers
532 views

Is quantum gravity, ignoring geometry, the theory of a fictitious force?

This question is motivated by this question and this one, but I will try to write it in such a way that it is not duplicate. In short, I don't understand the motivation for a "quantum theory of ...
8
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3answers
519 views

An electron falling into a black hole

If an electron falls into a black hole. How can the Heisenberg uncertainty principle hold? The electron has fallen into the singularity now so it has a well defined position which means that it ...
8
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4answers
1k views

Why should one expect closed timelike curves to be impossible in quantum gravity?

From the Wikipedia article, it seems that physicists tend to view closed timelike curves as an undesirable attribute of a solution to the Einstein Field Equations. Hawking formulated the Chronology ...
8
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1answer
263 views

What object is quantized in quantum gravity?

In theories of quantum gravity, which object is it that is quantized? Working on field theories, I expect the quantization to mean the promotion of a classical field to an operator valued field that ...
8
votes
3answers
553 views

Thermodynamically reversed black holes, firewalls, Casimir effect, null energy condition violations

Scott Aaronson asked a very deep question at Hawking radiation and reversibility about what happens if black hole evolution is reversed thermodynamically. Most of the commenters missed his point ...
8
votes
4answers
543 views

Is the 125 GeV Higgs boson some kind of a “almost-commutative graviton” at the electroweak scale?

The clumsy "almost-commutative graviton" is provocative. I use it on purpose, to ask two questions in one : Is the observation of only one Higgs and no supersymmetric particle below 8 TeV (up to ...
8
votes
1answer
545 views

Derivation of the basic equation for Witten diagrams

I could understand the derivation of the "bulk-to-boundary" propagators ($K$) for scalar fields in $AdS$ but the iterative definition of the "bulk-to-bulk" propagators is not clear to me. On is ...
8
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1answer
340 views

How does one get these definitions of the energy momentum tensor?

I was just reading a book - Mirror Symmetry by Clay Mathematics Institute, and on Page 402 of the book, the writer says that energy momentum tensor is defined classically by $$\delta S = -\frac{1}{4 ...
8
votes
1answer
392 views

Area law for Entropy in Loop Quantum Gravity

In connection with the long saga of the (claimed) microscopic calculations of the Hawking-Bekenstein entropy in (3+1) Loop Quantum Gravity (LQG) and related approaches I have the following question: ...
8
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1answer
174 views

Hawking radiation for closely orbiting black holes

Suppose we have two black holes of radius $R_b$ orbiting at a distance $R_r$. I believe semi-classical approximations describe correctly the case where $R_r$ is much larger than the average black body ...
8
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1answer
457 views

Physical interpretation of Wheeler - Dewitt equation

What is the mainstream ( if there is one ) interpretation of the Wheeler - Dewitt equation $\hat{H}\Psi =0$ ?
8
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1answer
206 views

When periodic solutions are combined with timelessness, do we get closed timelike curves?

In quantum gravity, ADM wavefunctional solutions have to satisfy the Wheeler-DeWitt equation. This leads to timelessness. What happens if we have a time periodic solution? In classical general ...
8
votes
2answers
914 views

Global symmetries in quantum gravity

In several papers (including a recent one by Banks and Seiberg) people mention a "folk-theorem" about the impossibility to have global symmetries in a consistent theory of quantum gravity. I remember ...
8
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0answers
205 views

Is it believed that all UV completions have “Maldacena duals”?

I have heard occasional rumors that effective field theories have gravity duals. For example, I've been told that UV momentum cutoffs in N=4 SYM become finite radii in AdS. I've heard speculations ...
8
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0answers
143 views

gauss-bonnet gravity constraints from string theory

recently there has been advances in observational constraints of gravity theories that contains scalars coupled to the gauss-bonnet topological term: http://arxiv.org/abs/0704.0175 ...
7
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3answers
942 views

Does Wick rotation work for quantum gravity?

Does Wick rotation work for quantum gravity? The Euclidean Einstein-Hilbert action isn't bounded from below.
7
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2answers
651 views

What is “Energy” of a vacuum in the context of quantum theory?

I'm not a physicist or cosmologist, so I hope I am asking the right question with the right words here. My question regards the word "energy" as it pertains to quantum vacuum states, and to concepts ...
7
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2answers
492 views

Is there a simple layman way to explain the incompatibilities between quantum mechanics and (general) relativity to high school students?

Is there a simple layman way that I can use to explain the incompatibilities between quantum mechanics and (general) relativity to high school students (people with not much knowledge of the intricate ...
7
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1answer
120 views

Simple question on the foundations of spin foam formalism

To make it simple, take the spin foam formalism of ($SU(2)$) 3D gravity. My question is about the choice of the data that will replace the (smoothly defined) fields $e$ (the triad) and $\omega$ (the ...