|GR17, the 17th International Conference
on General Relativity and Gravitation, will take place from 18th to 23rd
July 2004 in Dublin, Ireland,
"The subject matter of the conference is all areas of general relativity and gravitation, including Classical General Relativity, Relativistic Astrophysics and Cosmology, Experimental Work on Gravity and Quantum Issues in Gravitation. The invited lecturers and workshop chairs have been chosen by the Scientific Organising Committee, which is chaired by Prof. Curt Cutler of the Albert Einstein Institute, Golm, Germany."
I wrote to Jorge Pullin on Sunday, 29 February 2004, hoping that he or some of his colleagues could suggest a solution to the problem of background-free quantum gravity, but no answer has reached me so far. I think the issue is of paramount importance, since we don't understand the transition from quantum to classical regime and back: there is no smooth dynamical description for this process. Mother Nature has made the transition between these two realms without any sharp bumps or gaps, not to mention the so-called collapse. What is the ‘backbone’ of this transition? What if we need a brand new reference object, just in case the relational approach adopted by Jorge Pullin and his colleagues turns out to be unsatisfactory, given their explicit admission that "the resulting evolution in the time is not exactly unitary"?
I like non-unitary transitions. The proposal which I hope to deliver at GR17 (cf. below) entails a unique, to the best of my knowledge, opportunity for exploring the two possibilities en bloc: we have a background reference object in the global mode of spacetime, and no background whatsoever in the local mode of spacetime. Have our cake and eat it!
Frankly, I can't see any other opportunity for understanding the basic notion of "point". Back in November 2002, I was very much hoping that would be given a chance to explain these ideas at a seminar at Imperial College, but it didn't work out, to my deepest regret.
I sincerely hope that my intended contribution to GR17 will be accepted, and I will have the opportunity to benefit from the professional criticism of many physicists at this forum. Since it's all about Einstein, I will strictly follow his style of presentation, and will be utterly polite and formal. I can do that, it's only six days, July 18-23, 2004. (I love to sing but I promise to refrain.)
On Tuesday, March 9, 2004, at 00:06:06 GMT, I filed my abstract to GR17 from their web site (online submission). The transcript is provided below.
Note: For easier reading, I have altered the transcript by inserting space between the paragraphs of the abstract, which were present in the abstract but were lost in the online submission.
Below is what you submitted to email@example.com on Tuesday, March 9, 2004 at 00:06:06
abstract: Human brain dynamics and quantum gravity
The lack of successful recovery of the 4-D continuum of Einstein's GR from background-free versions of quantum gravity is examined on conceptual level. The crux of the problem is identified as the absence of any background that could enable a solution to the Hilbert space problem (C. Kiefer, gr-qc/9906100).
A possible diagnose of the problem is suggested, by examining the intrinsic nature of 4-D spacetime continuum at the scale of tables and chairs, and the task is set at suggesting a brand new reference object, called 'global mode of spacetime', which can be revealed in the human brain dynamics. The putative global mode of spacetime is supposed to be totally transparent to the continuum nature of spacetime in Einstein's GR and also provide for the unitary evolution in quantized spacetime (S. Carlip, gr-qc/0108040), by bestowing all quantum particles a total probability of one of being at a precise location at a given "time" in the global mode of spacetime. This feature of the global mode of spacetime is supposed to be scale-independent, and hence serves as the ‘backbone’ for constructing background-free versions of quantum gravity which are embedded in the 4-D continuum of Einstein's GR ab initio.
After explaining the notions of 'global
mode of spacetime' and its origin, the dynamics of the human brain (simple
and easy experiments will be offered to the audience for clarifying the
concepts), the diagnose due to Karel Kuchar (K. Kuchar, Time and interpretations
of quantum gravity, 1992) will be recalled: we need to find a ‘natural
time variable’ for GR, and reconcile the standard quantum theory with STR.
It will be argued that the new reference object, the hypothetical global
mode of spacetime, can address both problems, and set the path toward a
conceptual resolution of the main problems of background-free quantum gravity.
It is important to stress that no advanced knowledge in brain neurophysiology
or psychology is required for understanding the hypothesis of global mode
of spacetime. The only assumption made is that there are no supernatural
Finally, the conditions under which
the whole proposal can and will be obliterated will be spelled out in details.
I may not be able to speak at GR17, but will make a poster contribution in session D1. The poster session is on Thursday, July 22nd, from 19:00 to 20:30.
Watch this space!
Please inform me about possible upgrade
of my poster presentation to
Best - Dimi
On Wed, 19 May 2004 18:45:40 +0300,
Dimi Chakalov wrote:
July 10, 2004: I haven't heard from Thomas Thiemann, and couldn't find my name in the list of approved speakers at Workshop D1, Quantum General Relativity, available online here. This means that I would have to compete with all physicists at GR17 with a poster, size A0 (33 X 46 inches). No surprise, I was expecting it.
I am surprised, however, that one of the philosophers advocating entirely different view on quantum gravity, Lee Smolin, has been granted three oral presentations: on Monday, July 19th ("Background independent approach to M theory", D2), on Tuesday, July 20th ("The low energy behavior of loop quantum gravity", D1), and finally on Friday, July 23rd ("Inflation in loop quantum gravity", B2i).
Many years ago, a Catholic priest refused to look through the telescope of Galileo Galilei, because was afraid that might lose his precious faith. Nobody knows his name. The case with my paper is quite different: I proposed solutions to the problem of continuum and the 3-D space, and know all people who utterly refused to look at my work.
Anyway, I regret that will not hear
Kuchar ("Quantum geometry and dynamics of the gravitational collapse",
Thursday, July 22nd, 16:15-16:30) and Licia Verde,
but I do hope they will remind all people at GR17 that we know only 4
per cent of the stuff of the universe. The rest is some "dark
Quantum geometry from 4 per cent of the universe, correct? What can I say about this on a poster? And why should I? People want to hear Lee Smolin. So be it. He cannot solve the puzzle of 3-D space, and did acknowledge that, according to his loop quantum gravity, we should not be able to see much further the end of our nose: "One of the biggest mysteries is that we live in a world in which it is possible to look around, as see as far as we can" (Three Roads to Quantum Gravity, p. 205).
More at GR18 in 2005.
"A filamentary web of dark matter is threaded through the entire universe,
and acts as scaffolding within which the ordinary matter - including stars,
galaxies and planets - can later be built."
I didn't attend GR17, but it seems to me that the 'cat's pajama' was S. Hawking's lecture. I understood from John Baez' web site (Week 207, July 25, 2004) that one of the organizers complained that "they'd had to spend 4000 pounds on a public relations firm to control the reporters and other riff-raff who would try to attend Hawking's talk".
What's the fuzz here? Stephen Hawking and Kip Thorne had made a bet against John Preskill that information was lost in black holes. S. Hawking has speculated in favor of J. Preskill, meaning that information is not lost in black holes. Hence J. Preskill won a baseball encyclopedia, as we can see below.
Looks like a nice jamboree. Read more from Paul Ginsparg, "Information, please... ?", physics/0408033, and recall what Stephen Hawking wrote in "Virtual Black Holes", hep-th/9510029: "Unless quantum gravity can make contact with observation, it will become as academic as arguments about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin."
I was hoping that the people running the International Conferences on General Relativity and Gravitation will make an exception from the rule of being triannual conferences and will summon all researchers next year in Germany (perhaps in Albert Einstein Institute, Golm), to commemorate Einstein's Annus Mirabilis, but I was wrong. They have rules. Fine, I'll go to Sydney in 2007, but would I be walking upside-down?