Problem of time in quantum gravity


  • E. Anderson

    1. APC AstroParticule et Cosmologie, Université Paris Diderot CNRS/IN2P3, CEA/Irfu, Observatoire de Paris, Sorbonne Paris Cité, 10 rue Alice Domon et Léonie Duquet, 75205 Paris Cedex 13, France
    2. DAMTP, Centre for Mathematical Sciences, Wilberforce Road, Cambridge CB3 OWA, UK
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The Problem of Time occurs because the ‘time’ of GR and of ordinary Quantum Theory are mutually incompatible notions. This is problematic in trying to replace these two branches of physics with a single framework in situations in which the conditions of both apply, e.g. in black holes or in the very early universe. Emphasis in this Review is on the Problem of Time being multi-faceted and on the nature of each of the eight principal facets. Namely, the Frozen Formalism Problem, Configurational Relationalism Problem (formerly Sandwich Problem), Foliation Dependence Problem, Constraint Closure Problem (formerly Functional Evolution Problem), Multiple Choice Problem, Global Problem of Time, Problem of Beables (alias Problem of Observables) and Spacetime Reconstruction/Replacement Problem. Strategizing in this Review is not just centred about the Frozen Formalism Problem facet, but rather about each of the eight facets. Particular emphasis is placed upon A) relationalism as an underpinning of the facets and as a selector of particular strategies (especially a modification of Barbour relationalism, though also with some consideration of Rovelli relationalism). B) Classifying approaches by the full ordering in which they embrace constrain, quantize, find time/history and find observables, rather than only by partial orderings such as “Dirac-quantize”. C) Foliation (in)dependence and Spacetime Reconstruction for a wide range of physical theories, strategizing centred about the Problem of Beables, the Patching Approach to the Global Problem of Time, and the role of the question-types considered in physics. D) The Halliwell- and Gambini–Porto–Pullin-type combined Strategies in the context of semiclassical quantum cosmology.