Author Topic: Are the QM and Relativity conceptions of time the same?  (Read 871 times)

Offline entropy

Are the QM and Relativity conceptions of time the same?
« on: August 25, 2013, 11:39:14 AM »
The subject line pretty much sums up what I'm curious about: Is the conception of time in quantum mechanics the same as the conception of time in General Relativity?  If not, what are the differences? Are there any deep implications for a unified theory (Theory of Everything) because of any differences in conception of time between the two theories (if there are any differences)?

Edit: I just realized I should have put this in the "Physics and Cosmology" section rather than the general science section. Hopefully, someone with the answers to my questions will still see the questions or a moderator will happen to see this and be kind enough to move it to the "Physics" section.

Offline Solitary

Re: Are the QM and Relativity conceptions of time the same?
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2013, 02:34:01 PM »
I don't think so and here is why:

Probability relativity? Soon, perhaps. I know someone who has done some good work on the problem. No, they are not too different. As you know Einstein was not overly fond of QM. But both GR and QM, despite some internal problems and mutual conflict, are valuable models of reality.

 As I see it, it is sort of like trying to solve a mathematical equation, but for one part of the problem you are using base e, and base 10 for the other part. Obviously things won't jive. GR works well as a large scale model but I think GR has a basic flaw in its formalism. Let me explain.

 The whole formalism of GR is based on the concept of the space-time 'continuum'. GR is a field theory in classic sense that there is the implicit assumption that we can move 'uniformly' through a 'continuum.' But what if that was not true? And why would we assume that it was true? On the atomic QM level we know space and time are quantized. Things can seem to be smooth and continuous but when we look closely enough it becomes apparent they aren't.

What if the 'fabric' of space-time was such that large bodies moved in a jerky QM fashion which decreases and quickly becomes imperceptible for non-atomic masses, but nevertheless this jerkiness is non-zero and it is an 'inverse' function of mass and also a function of a quantized space-time? If a theory could be constructed which replaces the continuum with a restricted position probability distribution we might have a theory which on the QM level would match QM predictions and on the large scale level would match GR (and we might have a theory of quantum gravity).

 It would be analogous to the predictions of classical mechanics being accurate at low speeds and the predictions of special relativity being more accurate at near light speeds. The relativistic effect for low velocities is real but negligible. Likewise the QM effects for larger masses are real but negligible. In any case, in my opinion the concept of a space-time continuum works fine for the large scale but logically it makes no sense as an encompassing model of reality, and this concept is counter-productive for a unification of GR and QM. Some promising work has been done on this.
There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action.