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Q & A: Why quantize gravity?

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Most recent answer: 04/07/2012
Q:
an arc drawn on a parabolic surface is appearently a straight line.is it possible gravitation is not a force, but just an illusion of curved space? what i,m saying is where is the need for a theoretical gravitron?
- larry leonardi (age 57)
Pittsburgh
A:
At the scale we usually deal with, gravity is an effect of curved spacetime, just as you suggest. The waves predicted by the field equations could be treated as classical effects for almost all purposes. Nevertheless, if it were a purely classical sort of spacetime field, one could in principle use those waves to make a gravitational microscope to view objects with arbitrary accuracy. That would violate the Heisenberg Uncertainty Relations, which are a necessary consequence of the whole logical structure of quantum mechanics. So to avoid logical paradoxes, it seems necessary to incorporate gravity into the quantum framework.


Mike W.

(published on 04/07/2012)

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