Dartmouth Events

Physics and Astronomy - Quantum Seminar - Philipp Hoehn, Uni. College London

Title: "Quantum General Covariance and the Problem of Time"

Thursday, November 14, 2019
4:00pm – 5:00pm
Wilder 202
Intended Audience(s): Public
Categories: Lectures & Seminars

Abstract: Reference frames provide the vantage points from which to describe the remaining physics. General covariance essentially posits that ``all the laws of physics are the same in every reference frame". While this is an established pillar of general relativity and usually interpreted in terms of coordinate invariance, its fate in the quantum realm remains an open question. This is a challenge because treating frames fundamentally as quantum systems themselves is inevitable in quantum gravity, where coordinates are a priori unavailable, but also in quantum foundations once accepting that all frames are physical systems. Both fields thus face the question of how to describe physics from the perspective of quantum frames and how the descriptions relative to different such choices are related. I will summarize a recent "perspective-neutral" approach to such quantum frame perspective changes, which works in analogy to coordinate changes on a manifold, except that these "quantum coordinate changes" proceed between different Hilbert spaces. I will then focus on temporal reference frames, i.e. quantum clocks, and use this approach to argue for a new perspective on the infamous problem of time in quantum gravity and the "wave function of the universe".

For more information, contact:
Tressena Manning

Events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.