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In search of lost spacetime: philosophical issues arising in quantum gravity

Wuthrich, Christian (2011) In search of lost spacetime: philosophical issues arising in quantum gravity. [Preprint]


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This paper issues a call to arms and seeks to entice the reader with some of the most captivating philosophical puzzles arising in quantum gravity. The analysis will be prefaced, in Section 1, by general considerations concerning the need for finding a quantum theory of gravity and the methods used in the pursuit of this goal. After mapping the field in Section 2, loop quantum gravity is introduced as an important competitor and particularly rich source of philosophical trouble in Section 3. The so-called problem of time, i.e. the puzzle that no genuine physical quantity can change, is discussed in Section 4. Finally, Section 5 analyzes how the familiar continuous spacetime structure might re-emerge from the fundamental, non-spatiotemporal structure.

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Item Type: Preprint
Additional Information: 14 pages; French version to appear in Soazig Le Bihan (ed.), La philosophie de la physique aujourd'hui, Paris: Syllepse Editions.
Keywords: quantum gravity, loop quantum gravity, problem of time, emergence of spacetime
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Gravity
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
Depositing User: Christian Wuthrich
Date Deposited: 04 Jul 2011 21:40
Last Modified: 06 Jun 2014 12:01
Item ID: 8700

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