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

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The greatest challenge in fundamental physics attempts to reconcile quantum mechanics and general relativity in a theory of "quantum gravity." This volume collects classic and original contributions from leading experts in both fields for a provocative discussion of the subject. 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.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'… a formidable survey of current research and future possibilities in theories of convergence of particle physics and gravity theory … recommended to ambitious undergraduate philosophy and physics students as well as graduate students …'. P. D. Skiff, Choice

'… there is no better resource available to philosophers interested in quantum gravity than Physics Meets Philosophy at the Planck Scale … This volume is mandatory reading for anyone interested in how quantum theory and gravity collide.' Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521662802
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 1/29/2001
  • Pages: 376
  • Product dimensions: 6.97 (w) x 9.96 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Table of Contents

1 Introduction 1
2 Spacetime and the philosophical challenge of quantum gravity 33
3 Naive quantum gravity 90
4 Quantum spacetime: What do we know? 101
5 Reflections on the fate of spacetime 125
6 A philosopher looks at string theory 138
7 Black holes, dumb holes, and entropy 152
8 Higher-dimensional algebra and Planck scale physics 177
9 On general covariance and best matching 199
10 Pre-Socratic quantum gravity 213
11 The origin of the spacetime metric: Bell's 'Lorentzian pedagogy' and its significance in general relativity 256
12 Quantum spacetime without observers: Ontological clarity and the conceptual foundations of quantum gravity 275
13 On gravity's role in quantum state reduction 290
14 Why the quantum must yield to gravity 305
References 339
Notes on contributors 357
Index 361
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