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On the Status of Conservation Laws in Physics: Implications for Semiclassical Gravity

Maudlin, Tim and Okon, Elias and Sudarsky, Daniel (2019) On the Status of Conservation Laws in Physics: Implications for Semiclassical Gravity. [Preprint]

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Abstract

We start by surveying the history of the idea of a fundamental conservation law and briefly examine the role conservation laws play in different classical contexts. In such contexts we find conservation laws to be useful, but often not essential. Next we consider the quantum setting, where the conceptual problems of the standard formalism obstruct a rigorous analysis of the issue. We then analyze the fate of energy conservation within the various viable paths to address such conceptual problems; in all cases we find no satisfactory way to define a (useful) notion of energy that is generically conserved. Finally, we focus on the implications of this for the semiclassical gravity program and conclude that Einstein's equations cannot be said to always hold.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Maudlin, Tim
Okon, Eliaseokon@filosoficas.unam.mx
Sudarsky, Danielsudarsky@nucleares.unam.mx
Keywords: Conservation laws; Energy; Energy conservation; Semicalssical gravity; Semiclassical Einstein equations.
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Classical Physics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Cosmology
Specific Sciences > Physics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Gravity
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Field Theory
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
Specific Sciences > Physics > Symmetries/Invariances
Depositing User: Dr. Elias Okon
Date Deposited: 15 Oct 2019 11:58
Last Modified: 15 Oct 2019 11:58
Item ID: 16543
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Classical Physics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Cosmology
Specific Sciences > Physics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Gravity
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Field Theory
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
Specific Sciences > Physics > Symmetries/Invariances
Date: 14 October 2019
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/16543

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