*Claus Kiefer*

- Published in print:
- 2012
- Published Online:
- May 2012
- ISBN:
- 9780199585205
- eISBN:
- 9780191739378
- Item type:
- chapter

- Publisher:
- Oxford University Press
- DOI:
- 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199585205.003.0001
- Subject:
- Physics, Theoretical, Computational, and Statistical Physics

This introductory chapter presents the general motivations for constructing a quantum theory of gravity. The main argument is the conceptual incompleteness of present theoretical physics. The chapter ...
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This introductory chapter presents the general motivations for constructing a quantum theory of gravity. The main argument is the conceptual incompleteness of present theoretical physics. The chapter presents the relevant length and energy scales, that is, the Planck scales and its relation to astrophysical scales, and addresses the experimental status of the relation between quantum theory and gravity. It then discusses the semiclassical Einstein equations and their shortcomings. The chapter concludes with an overview of the main approaches to quantum gravity discussed in this book. This chapter is written in a rather general and non-technical style and should be accessible to a wide audience of people interested in theoretical physics.Less

This introductory chapter presents the general motivations for constructing a quantum theory of gravity. The main argument is the conceptual incompleteness of present theoretical physics. The chapter presents the relevant length and energy scales, that is, the Planck scales and its relation to astrophysical scales, and addresses the experimental status of the relation between quantum theory and gravity. It then discusses the semiclassical Einstein equations and their shortcomings. The chapter concludes with an overview of the main approaches to quantum gravity discussed in this book. This chapter is written in a rather general and non-technical style and should be accessible to a wide audience of people interested in theoretical physics.

*Claus Kiefer*

- Published in print:
- 2007
- Published Online:
- January 2010
- ISBN:
- 9780199212521
- eISBN:
- 9780191707377
- Item type:
- chapter

- Publisher:
- Oxford University Press
- DOI:
- 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199212521.003.01
- Subject:
- Physics, Theoretical, Computational, and Statistical Physics

This introductory chapter presents the general motivation for constructing a quantum theory of gravity. The main motivation is the conceptual incompleteness of present theoretical physics. It ...
More

This introductory chapter presents the general motivation for constructing a quantum theory of gravity. The main motivation is the conceptual incompleteness of present theoretical physics. It presents the relevant scales, that is, the Planck scale and its relation to astrophysical scales, and addresses the experimental status of the relation between quantum theory and gravity. It then discusses the semiclassical Einstein equations and its shortcomings. It concludes with an overview of the main approaches to quantum gravity discussed in this book. The chapter is written in a rather non-technical style and should be accessible to a wide audience of people interested in theoretical physics.Less

This introductory chapter presents the general motivation for constructing a quantum theory of gravity. The main motivation is the conceptual incompleteness of present theoretical physics. It presents the relevant scales, that is, the Planck scale and its relation to astrophysical scales, and addresses the experimental status of the relation between quantum theory and gravity. It then discusses the semiclassical Einstein equations and its shortcomings. It concludes with an overview of the main approaches to quantum gravity discussed in this book. The chapter is written in a rather non-technical style and should be accessible to a wide audience of people interested in theoretical physics.

*Dean Rickles*

- Published in print:
- 2020
- Published Online:
- April 2020
- ISBN:
- 9780199602957
- eISBN:
- 9780191844393
- Item type:
- chapter

- Publisher:
- Oxford University Press
- DOI:
- 10.1093/oso/9780199602957.003.0008
- Subject:
- Physics, Theoretical, Computational, and Statistical Physics

This chapter focuses on John Wheeler’s work on geons and geometrodynamics which would lead to many concepts and results that would be of importance to quantum gravity research - these projects, ...
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This chapter focuses on John Wheeler’s work on geons and geometrodynamics which would lead to many concepts and results that would be of importance to quantum gravity research - these projects, initially, were rather old fashioned, harking back to the classical ‘unified field theory’ work of Einstein. Moreover, we find that this work that we now tend to think of as foundational in quantum gravity---e.g., we often think of ‘quantum geometrodynamics’ as just another phrase for ‘quantum gravity’---had its roots firmly embedded in the quest for understanding the elementary particles. It wasn’t until after 1957 that Wheeler began to look seriously at general relativity and quantum gravity independently from concerns in particle physics, and this shift in fact coincides with a more general trend to treat gravitational physics as a worthwhile field in its own right.Less

This chapter focuses on John Wheeler’s work on geons and geometrodynamics which would lead to many concepts and results that would be of importance to quantum gravity research - these projects, initially, were rather old fashioned, harking back to the classical ‘unified field theory’ work of Einstein. Moreover, we find that this work that we now tend to think of as foundational in quantum gravity---e.g., we often think of ‘quantum geometrodynamics’ as just another phrase for ‘quantum gravity’---had its roots firmly embedded in the quest for understanding the elementary particles. It wasn’t until after 1957 that Wheeler began to look seriously at general relativity and quantum gravity independently from concerns in particle physics, and this shift in fact coincides with a more general trend to treat gravitational physics as a worthwhile field in its own right.

*Dean Rickles*

- Published in print:
- 2020
- Published Online:
- April 2020
- ISBN:
- 9780199602957
- eISBN:
- 9780191844393
- Item type:
- book

- Publisher:
- Oxford University Press
- DOI:
- 10.1093/oso/9780199602957.001.0001
- Subject:
- Physics, Theoretical, Computational, and Statistical Physics

The problem of quantum gravity is often viewed as the most pressing unresolved problem of modern physics, the ‘holy grail’: our theories of spacetime and matter, described respectively by general ...
More

The problem of quantum gravity is often viewed as the most pressing unresolved problem of modern physics, the ‘holy grail’: our theories of spacetime and matter, described respectively by general relativity (Einstein’s theory of gravitation and spacetime) and quantum mechanics (our best theory of matter and the other forces of nature) resist unification. Covered in Deep Mist provides the first book-length treatment of the history of quantum gravity, focusing on its origins and earliest stages of development until the mid-1950s. Readers will be guided through the impacts on the problem of quantum gravity resulting from changes in the two ingredient theories, quantum theory and general relativity, which were themselves still under construction in the years studied. We examine how several of the core approaches of today were formed in an era when the field was highly unfashionable. The book aims to be accessible to a broad range of readers and goes beyond a merely technical examination to include social and cultural factors involved in the changing fortunes of the field. Suitable for both newcomers and seasoned quantum gravity professionals, the book will shine new light on this century old, unresolved problem.Less

The problem of quantum gravity is often viewed as the most pressing unresolved problem of modern physics, the ‘holy grail’: our theories of spacetime and matter, described respectively by general relativity (Einstein’s theory of gravitation and spacetime) and quantum mechanics (our best theory of matter and the other forces of nature) resist unification. *Covered in Deep Mist* provides the first book-length treatment of the history of quantum gravity, focusing on its origins and earliest stages of development until the mid-1950s. Readers will be guided through the impacts on the problem of quantum gravity resulting from changes in the two ingredient theories, quantum theory and general relativity, which were themselves still under construction in the years studied. We examine how several of the core approaches of today were formed in an era when the field was highly unfashionable. The book aims to be accessible to a broad range of readers and goes beyond a merely technical examination to include social and cultural factors involved in the changing fortunes of the field. Suitable for both newcomers and seasoned quantum gravity professionals, the book will shine new light on this century old, unresolved problem.