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Title: Classical and quantum causality in quantum field theory, or, "the quantum universe"
Author: Eakins, Jonathan Simon
Awarding Body: University of Nottingham
Current Institution: University of Nottingham
Date of Award: 2004
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Based on a number of experimentally verified physical observations, it is argued that the standard principles of quantum mechanics should be applied to the Universe as a whole. Thus, a paradigm is proposed in which the entire Universe is represented by a pure state wavefunction contained in a factorisable Hilbert space of enormous dimension, and where this statevector is developed by successive applications of operators that correspond to unitary rotations and Hermitian tests. Moreover, because by definition the Universe contains everything, it is argued that these operators must be chosen self-referentially; the overall dynamics of the system is envisaged to be analogous to a gigantic, self-governing, quantum computation. The issue of how the Universe could choose these operators without requiring or referring to a fictitious external observer is addressed, and this in turn rephrases and removes the traditional Measurement Problem inherent in the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics. The processes by which conventional physics might be recovered from this fundamental, mathematical and global description of reality are particularly investigated. Specifically, it is demonstrated that by considering the changing properties, separabilities and factorisations of both the state and the operators as the Universe proceeds though a sequence of discrete computations, familiar notions such as classical distinguishability, particle physics, space, time, special relativity and endo-physical experiments can all begin to emerge from the proposed picture. A pregeometric vision of cosmology is therefore discussed, with all of physics ultimately arising from the relationships occurring between the elements of the underlying mathematical structure. The possible origins of observable physics, including physical objects positioned at definite locations in an arena of apparently continuous space and time, are consequently investigated for a Universe that incorporates quantum theory as a fundamental feature. Overall, a framework for quantum cosmology is introduced and explored which attempts to account for the existence of time, space, matter and, eventually, everything else in the Universe, from a physically consistent perspective.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: QB Astronomy