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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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The Problem of Time In Quantum Geometrodynamics

The Problem of Time In Quantum Geometrodynamics

Chapter:
(p.169) 7. The Problem of Time In Quantum Geometrodynamics
Source:
The Arguments of Time
Author(s):

Karel Kuchař

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197263464.003.0007

This chapter describes the problem of time in quantum geometrodynamics in more detail. It first describes how the fundamental equation of general relativity can be written as an instantaneous law, indeed as a cousin of a beautiful geometric theorem of Gauss, which Gauss called ‘theoremaegregium’. Then, it describes how the quantization of general relativity leads to the disappearance of time from the formalism, and surveys three ways to respond to the problem. First, one can try to extract a notion of time that will not ‘disappear’ under quantization, from the formalism of classical general relativity. Second, one can try to find a time in the formalism of quantized general relativity. Third, one can conclude that time is only an approximate notion: quantum geometrodynamics, and perhaps quantum theory generally, are to be interpreted in a fundamentally timeless way.

Keywords:   quantum geometrodynamics, general relativity, Gauss, theoremaegregium, quantization, formalism

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