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Abhay Ashtekar : Semi-Popular Articles

Imagine there is no space and time in the background; no canvas to paint the dynamics of the physical universe on. Imagine a play in which the stage joins the troupe of actors. Imagine a novel in which the book itself is a character...

Yes, one can still do physics without sacrificing any mathematical precision. In classical physics, Einstein taught us how to do this by weaving the gravitational field into the very fabric of space-time. In the resulting theory, general relativity, there is no background space-time, no inert arena, no spectators in the cosmic dance. Matter, through its gravity, tells space-time how to bend and curved space-time, in turn, tells matter how to move. However, classical physics is incomplete; it ignores the quantum world. Can we fuse the pristine, geometric world of Einstein's with quantum physics, without robbing it of its soul? Can we realize Einstein's vision at the quantum level?

Find out! A French translation is available at http://www.besteonderdelen.nl/blog/?p=9128

Articles aimed at general public interested in fundamental issues of physics and space-time structure:

Article addressed to advanced undergraduates and graduate students (summarizes the status of background independent, loop quantum gravity as of June 2001):

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