Conversations on Quantum Gravity


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Table of Contents

Introduction, The Interviews: 1. Jan Ambjorn; 2. Nima Arkani-Hamed; 3. Abhay Ashtekar; 4. Jan de Boer; 5. Steven Carlip; 6. Alain Connes; 7. Robbert Dijkgraaf; 8. Bianca Dittrich; 9. Fay Dowker; 10. Laurent Freidel; 11. Steven Giddings; 12. Rajesh Gopakumar; 13. David J. Gross; 14. Gerard 't Hooft; 15. Petr Horava; 16. Renate Loll; 17. Juan Maldacena; 18. Shiraz Minwalla; 19. Hermann Nicolai; 20. Roger Penrose; 21. Joseph Polchinski; 22. Alexander Polyakov; 23. Martin Reuter; 24. Carlo Rovelli; 25. Nathan Seiberg; 26. Ashoke Sen; 27. Eva Silverstein; 28. Lee Smolin; 29. Rafael Sorkin; 30. Andrew Strominger; 31. Leonard Susskind; 32. Thomas Thiemann; 33. Cumrun Vafa; 34. Erik Verlinde; 35. Steven Weinberg; 36. Frank Wilczek; 37. Edward Witten; Index.

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Leading theorists share their important insights into the ongoing quest of theoretical physics to find a quantum theory of gravity.

About the Author

Jacome (Jay) Armas is an assistant professor at the Institute of Physics and coordinator of the Dutch Institute for Emergent Phenomena, University of Amsterdam. He completed his Ph.D. at the Niels Bohr Institute and held postdoctoral positions at the University of Bern and Universite Libre de Bruxelles. His research interests span foundational issues in string theory, hydrodynamics and black holes, as well as emergent phenomena in quantum and soft matter. In addition to his research activities, he established the international science outreach platform and event series Science & Cocktails. This volume, compiled over more than 10 years of mainly in-person interviews, is his gift to the physics community.


'The two great achievements in fundamental physics of the 20th century are quantum mechanics, embodied in the standard model of particle physics, and general relativity, Einstein's theory of gravity. Their reconciliation is the challenge that is addressed in these fascinating interviews with many of the leading experts. Superstring theory, also developed in the 20th century, is the leading candidate to provide the answer, but other ideas are being explored. The wide range of viewpoints presented gives the reader a sense of this profound challenge.' John H. Schwartz, Harold Brown Professor of Theoretical Physics, Emeritus, Caltech
'Conversations on Quantum Gravity is a unique resource for students and researchers of quantum gravity, for philosophers and sociologists of science, and for future historians of physics. Jacome Armas has admirably accomplished a herculean task: 37 interviews, peppered with his provocative questions informed by a broad appreciation of the scope of the physics problems and the panoply of approaches to solving them, and copiously referenced to the relevant literature.' Ted Jacobson, Distinguished University Professor, University of Maryland
'This book presents an unconventional ten-year 'long-exposure photograph' of the evolving research field of quantum gravity. In this field, there is potential for breakthroughs in interlinking diverse approaches, many of which are covered in this book. Thus the book provides an informative read to complement more specialised textbooks. It is suitable for students, researchers and anyone interested in learning what practitioners of quantum gravity consider as the critical obstacles to understanding quantum spacetime.' Astrid Eichhorn, CP3-Origins, University of Southern Denmark

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