Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Fairly Simple Math Could Bridge Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity

Fairly Simple Math Could Bridge Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity: The analysis does not model gravity explicitly, and so is not an attempt to formulate a theory of ‘quantum gravity’ that brings general relativity and quantum mechanics under one umbrella. Instead... their work might provide a simplified framework for understanding the effects of gravity on quantum particles, as well as describing other situations in which the spaces that quantum particles move in can radically alter, such as in condensed-matter-physics experiments...
Wilczek and his co-authors set up a hypothetical system with a single quantum particle moving along a wire that abruptly splits into two. The stripped-down scenario is effectively the one-dimensional version of an encounter with ripped space-time, which occurs when the topology of a space changes radically. The theorists concentrate on what happens at the endpoints of the wire — setting the ‘boundary conditions’ for the before and after states of the quantum wave associated with the particle. They then show that the wave can evolve continuously without facing any disruptions as the boundary conditions shift from one geometry to the other, incompatible one.

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