The Quantum Structure of Space and Time: Proceedings of the 23rd Solvay Conference on Physics, Brussels, Belgium, 1-3 December, 2005
Ever since 1911, the Solvay Conferences have shaped modern physics. The 23rd edition, chaired by 2004 Nobel Laureate David Gross, did not break with that tradition. It gathered most of the leading figures working on the central problem of reconciling Einstein's theory of gravity with quantum mechanics. These proceedings give a broad overview with unique insight into the most fundamental issues raised by this challenge for 21st century physics, by distinguished renowned scientists. The contributions cover: the status of quantum mechanics, spacetime singularities and breakdown of classical space and time, mathematical structures underlying the most promising attempts under current development, spacetime as an emergent concept, as well as cosmology and the cosmological constant puzzle. A historical overview of the Solvay conferences by historian of sciences Peter Galison opens the volume. In the Solvay tradition, the volume also includes the discussions among the participants -- many of which were quite lively and illustrate dramatically divergent points of view -- carefully edited and reproduced in full.
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