Vedic Physics: Towards Unification of Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity by Keshav Dev Verma
Fairly Simple Math Could Bridge Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity
By Max Planck Institute September 5, Quantum gravity should make it possible to describe the evolution of the universe from the Big Bang to today within one single theory. Credit: T. Physicists from the Max Planck Institute and the Perimeter Institute in Canada have developed a new approach to the unification of the general theory of relativity and quantum theory. Present-day physics cannot describe what happened in the Big Bang. Quantum theory and the theory of relativity fail in this almost infinitely dense and hot primal state of the universe. Only an all-encompassing theory of quantum gravity which unifies these two fundamental pillars of physics could provide an insight into how the universe began.
Despite our successes at describing the inner workings of the universe Higgs, anyone? Why should we want to unify them anyway? In this week's " Ask a Physicist, " we'll find out. Virtually everything we know about the laws of physics falls into one of two piles. In one, there's quantum mechanics, from which we've developed the " Standard Model, " including all of the fundamental particles we've yet detected, and three of the four interactions: electromagnetism, and the weak and strong nuclear forces. In the other pile, there's Einstein's theory of General Relativity, which describes the fourth force, gravity, and gives us black holes , the expansion of the universe , and the potential for time travel.
A theory of everything TOE  or ToE , final theory , ultimate theory , or master theory is a hypothetical single, all-encompassing, coherent theoretical framework of physics that fully explains and links together all physical aspects of the universe. Over the past few centuries, two theoretical frameworks have been developed that, together, most closely resemble a TOE. These two theories upon which all modern physics rests are general relativity GR and quantum field theory QFT. GR is a theoretical framework that only focuses on gravity for understanding the universe in regions of both large scale and high mass: stars, galaxies, clusters of galaxies, etc. On the other hand, QFT is a theoretical framework that only focuses on three non-gravitational forces for understanding the universe in regions of both small scale and low mass: sub-atomic particles, atoms, molecules, etc.
Click here to close this overlay, or press the "Escape" key on your keyboard. The Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft DPG with a tradition extending back to is the largest physical society in the world with more than 61, members. The DPG sees itself as the forum and mouthpiece for physics and is a non-profit organisation that does not pursue financial interests. It supports the sharing of ideas and thoughts within the scientific community, fosters physics teaching and would also like to open a window to physics for all those with a healthy curiosity. The Institute of Physics IOP is a leading scientific society promoting physics and bringing physicists together for the benefit of all. It has a worldwide membership of around 50 comprising physicists from all sectors, as well as those with an interest in physics. It works to advance physics research, application and education; and engages with policy makers and the public to develop awareness and understanding of physics.
Quantum foam is the term used by physicists to describe the violent activity of the quantum world. When you combine all of the characteristics of quantum mechanics—such as wave functions, probability, and uncertainty—you get a pretty active interaction among the forces and particles. You can also think of it as a quantum soup, happily bubbling away. Quantum electrodynamics , or QED , is the theory that describes the way electrically charged particles interact with one another and with magnetic fields through the exchange of photons. Also known as relativistic quantum field theory , it's quantum because it includes all of the quantum characteristics like probability and uncertainty; it's a field theory because it includes Maxwell's electromagnetic field equations; and it's relativistic because it incorporates the concepts of space and time from the special theory of relativity.
Could an analysis based on relatively simple calculations point the way to reconciling the two most successful — and stubbornly distinct — branches of modern theoretical physics? Frank Wilczek and his collaborators hope so. One of the difficulties is that neither is adequate to describe what happens to particles when the space-time they occupy undergoes drastic changes — such as those thought to occur at the birth of a black hole. Instead, the authors, including Nobel laureate Frank Wilczek of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology MIT in Cambridge, suggest that 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. The idea is attracting attention not only because of the scope of its possible applications, but because it is based on undergraduate-level mathematics.