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The Problem of Time

Quantum Mechanics Versus General Relativity
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Edward Anderson
190, Fundamental Theories of Physics
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Introduction.- Part I Problem of Time at the Classical Level.- Temporal Relationalism.- Configurational Relationalism.- The Internal Time Alternative.- Brackets and Constraint Closure.- The Problem of Beables.- Records, Histories and Combined Schemes.- Diffeomorphism-specific issues.- Classical Problem of Time in the Halliwell-Hawking Model.- Global Problems of Time at the Classical Level.- Part II Problem of Time at the Quantum Level.- Quantization.- Problem of Time Facets at the Quantum Level.- Strategies for dealing with the Quantum Frozen Formalism Problem.- These strategies for models with nontrivial Configurational Relationalism.- Strategies for the Quantum Problem of Beables.- Strategies for the Quantum Constraint Closure, Foliation Dependence and Spacetime Reconstruction Problems.- Quantum Problem of Time in the Halliwell-Hawking Model.- Quantum Global Problems of Time and Multiple Choice Problem.- A. Toy Models used in this Book.- B. Levels of Structure.
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.