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Fundamental Theories of Physics

The Problem of Time

Quantum Mechanics Versus General Relativity

Authors: Anderson, Edward

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  • Addresses issues of central interest to fundamental theories of physics
  • An informed survey of the main candidate theories of quantum gravity
  • Starts gently, thus accessible to new graduate students
  • The book is a fruit of a major FQXi grant awarded to the author
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eBook $59.99
$119.00 (listprice)
price for Brazil (gross)
valid through 28 de Fevereiro de 2019
  • ISBN 978-3-319-58848-3
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $79.99
$159.00 (listprice)
price for Brazil
valid through 28 de Fevereiro de 2019
  • ISBN 978-3-319-58846-9
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $79.99
$159.00 (listprice)
price for Brazil
valid through 28 de Fevereiro de 2019
  • ISBN 978-3-319-86490-7
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

This book is a treatise on time and on background independence in physics. It first considers how time is conceived of in each accepted paradigm of physics: Newtonian, special relativity, quantum mechanics (QM) and general relativity (GR).  Substantial differences are moreover uncovered between what is meant by time in QM and in GR. These differences jointly source the Problem of Time: Nine interlinked facets which arise upon attempting concurrent treatment of the QM and GR paradigms, as is required in particular for a background independent theory of quantum gravity.  A sizeable proportion of current quantum gravity programs - e.g. geometrodynamical and loop quantum gravity approaches to quantum GR, quantum cosmology, supergravity and M-theory - are background independent in this sense. This book's foundational topic is thus furthermore of practical relevance in the ongoing development of quantum gravity programs. 

This book shows moreover that eight of the nine facets of the Problem of Time already occur upon entertaining background independence in classical (rather than quantum) physics. By this development, and interpreting shape theory as modelling background independence, this book further establishes background independence as a field of study.  Background independent mechanics, as well as minisuperspace (spatially homogeneous) models of GR and perturbations thereabout are used to illustrate these points. As hitherto formulated, the different facets of the Problem of Time greatly interfere with each others' attempted resolutions. This book explains how, none the less, a local resolution of the Problem of Time can be arrived at after various reconceptualizations of the facets and reformulations of their mathematical implementation.  Self-contained appendices on mathematical methods for basic and foundational quantum gravity are included. Finally, this book outlines how supergravity is refreshingly different from GR as a realization of background independence, and what background independence entails at the topological level and beyond. 

About the authors

E. Anderson graduated from Cambridge with distinction in Part III Mathematics, and did a PhD in General Relativity at Queen Mary, University of London, before returning to Cambridge as a Research Fellow of Peterhouse and member of DAMTP.  E.A. has also occupied positions at the University of Alberta, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and Université Paris 7 (with a FQXi large grant to study the titular Problem of Time).

Reviews

“This text examines the myriad challenges of developing quantum gravity theories by considering the conceptual development of time and background dependence. … Recommended. Graduate students, researchers, and faculty.” (E. Kincanon, Choice, Vol. 55 (11), July, 2018)
“From a very special perspective, this book presents a well-versed discussion of quantum gravity programs and, respectively, their problems. … the text begins with a ‘largely theory-free conceptual outline of time and clock concepts, alongside notions of space, length-measuring devices, spacetime and frames’. … it has enough room to trace the Problem of Time facets back to more basic and well-known temporal concepts.” (Horst-Heino von Borzeszkowski, zbMATH 1394.81007, 2018)

Table of contents (46 chapters)

Table of contents (46 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $59.99
$119.00 (listprice)
price for Brazil (gross)
valid through 28 de Fevereiro de 2019
  • ISBN 978-3-319-58848-3
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $79.99
$159.00 (listprice)
price for Brazil
valid through 28 de Fevereiro de 2019
  • ISBN 978-3-319-58846-9
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $79.99
$159.00 (listprice)
price for Brazil
valid through 28 de Fevereiro de 2019
  • ISBN 978-3-319-86490-7
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
The Problem of Time
Book Subtitle
Quantum Mechanics Versus General Relativity
Authors
Series Title
Fundamental Theories of Physics
Series Volume
190
Copyright
2017
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright Holder
Springer International Publishing AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-58848-3
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-58848-3
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-319-58846-9
Softcover ISBN
978-3-319-86490-7
Series ISSN
0168-1222
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XXXVIII, 920
Number of Illustrations
106 b/w illustrations, 66 illustrations in colour
Topics