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The Arguments of Time$
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Jeremy Butterfield

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780197263464

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197263464.001.0001

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On the Emergence of Time in Quantum Gravity

On the Emergence of Time in Quantum Gravity

(p.110) (p.111) 6. On the Emergence of Time in Quantum Gravity
The Arguments of Time

Jeremy Butterfield

Chris Isham

British Academy

This chapter discusses the idea that the treatment of time in present-day physical theories, general relativity and quantum theory, might be an approximation to a very different treatment in the as yet unknown quantum theory of gravity. It considers the general idea that one theory could be emergent from another, emergence being a relation analogous to, but weaker than, intertheoretic reduction. It also gives a broad description of the search for a quantum theory of gravity and some of its interpretative problems. Thereafter, the discussion focuses on the emergence of time in two specific quantum gravity programmes: quantum geometrodynamics and the Euclidean programme. It also addresses the so-called ‘problem of time’. It is really a cluster of problems; technical and conceptual, arising from how time is treated very differently in general relativity and quantum theory.

Keywords:   quantum gravity, general relativity, Euclidean programme, quantum geometrodynamics, quantum theory, problem of time

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