February 24, 2023
Nine decades in, the foundations of quantum mechanics remain mysterious. Meanwhile, modern physicists puzzle over how to reconcile quantum mechanics with gravity. I will suggest that these problems are related, and that a promising strategy suggests itself: rather than "quantizing gravity," we should look for gravity within quantum mechanics. This approach has interesting consequences for how we think about the nature of space and time.
Sean Carroll is Homewood Professor of Natural Philosophy at Johns Hopkins University and Fractal Faculty at the Santa Fe Institute. He received his Ph.D. in 1993 from Harvard University. His research focuses on the foundations of physics, including issues in quantum mechanics, spacetime, cosmology, and emergence. He is the author of several books, most recently The Biggest Ideas in the Universe, Vol. 1: Space, Time, and Motion. He has been awarded prizes and fellowships by the National Science Foundation, NASA, the Sloan Foundation, the Packard Foundation, the American Physical Society, the American Institute of Physics, the Royal Society of London, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is the host of the weekly Mindscape podcast.