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Rethinking Quantum Mechanics

NSF Award:

A New Paradigm for the Dynamics of Classical and Quantum Gravity  (Louisiana State University & Agricultural and Mechanical College)

The Dynamics of Quantum Gravity  (Louisiana State University & Agricultural and Mechanical College)

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Researchers have made a step forward in reconciling quantum mechanics with gravity using a new interpretation--the Montevideo interpretation-that eliminates the need for outside observers.

This new view of the meaning of measurements in quantum mechanics may yield insights into the development of a quantum theory of gravity, a major unresolved issue in theoretical physics. It may also allow improved connection between a possible quantum mechanical phase early in the history of the universe and imprints of that phase on today's classical universe.

The long-standing Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics requires an outside, classical observer to make sense of a measurement. However, this method fails for theories of quantum gravity because such theories treat the universe itself as a quantum mechanical entity and there is no place for an outside observer. This problem has motivated gravitational theorists to consider new interpretations.

The Montevideo interpretation, developed by Jorge Pullin of Louisiana State University and Rodolfo Gambini of Universidad de la Republica in Montevideo, Uruguay, eliminates the need for outside observers by replacing the classical time usually used to interpret quantum mechanics with time measured by "real" clocks with limited precision.

To learn more visit Pullin's Loop Quantum Gravity portal and blog

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  • abstract image of gravity
Depiction of loop quantum gravity.
Jorge Pullin, LSU

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