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Lee Smolin -
Gravity
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Jacob Bekenstein found... in 1971 that every black hole must have an entropy proportional to the area of its horizon... Stephen Hawking then refined this by showing that the constant of proportionality must be... exactly one quarter.... entropy is supposed to correspond to a measure of information... Loop quantum gravity... [gives] a detailed description of the microscopic structure of a black hole.... a horizon can have, for each quantized unit of area, a finite number of states. Counting them, we get exactly Bekenstein's result...
Lee Smolin
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One of the evident facts about the world is the stability of empty space-time. In classical general relativity we can explain this as a consequence of the positive energy theorem... the positive energy theorem must extend in some suitable form to any viable quantum theory of gravity.
Lee Smolin
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Some of the effects predicted by the theory [of loop quantum gravity] appear to be in conflict with one of the principles of Einstein's special theory of relativity... that the speed of light is a universal constant.... Photons of higher energy travel slightly slower than low-energy photons.... the principle of [general] relativity is preserved but Einstein's special theory of relativity requires modification.... A photon can have an energy-dependent speed without violating the principle of [general] relativity!
Lee Smolin
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I was joined by Carlo Rovelli, and we were able to make a full-fledged quantum theory of gravity... This became loop quantum gravity.
Lee Smolin
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Combine general relativity and quantum theory into a single theory that can claim to be the complete theory of nature. This is called the problem of quantum gravity.
Lee Smolin
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Since the 1950s, the key equation of quantum gravity has been called the Wheeler-DeWitt equation. Bryce DeWitt and John Wheeler wrote it down, but in all the time since then, no one had been able to solve it. We found we could solve it exactly, and in fact we found an infinite number of exact solutions.
Lee Smolin
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We detect light and particles that have traveled billions of light years on their way across the universe to us. During the billions of years of travel, very small effects due to quantum gravity can be amplified to the point that we can detect them.
Lee Smolin
Quote of the day
I had advocated the establishment of a Negro industrial commission. I had gestured against the growth of monopoly power. I had introduced a few civil rights bills.
Emanuel Celler
Lee Smolin
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Born:
June 6, 1955
(age 69)
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