A Lab for Quantum Gravity

Pankaj S. Joshi

in The Story of Collapsing Stars

Published in print January 2015 | ISBN: 9780199686766
Published online January 2015 | e-ISBN: 9780191766817 | DOI:
A Lab for Quantum Gravity

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This chapter discusses here the various approaches available today to construct a quantum theory of gravity for the universe. These include the string theories and loop quantum gravity considerations, and various other approaches. It is then emphasized that what is really needed is observational data from the universe where quantum gravity Effects may be playing an important role. The key action of gravitational collapse phenomena is brought out here. If we accept that naked singularities can indeed form during gravitational collapse at the end of a massive star’s life cycle, or in some other circumstances, then a remarkable array of exciting possibilities is opened up to us. This is because the observational signatures of the physical processes occurring in super-ultra-strong gravity regions, where matter densities and curvatures will be in the extreme, become visible to external observers in the Universe. Such physical processes would naturally involve quantum gravity signatures, because both strong gravity and quantum effects must work together in such regions. The chapter wonders whether, as a result, this creates a quantum gravity laboratory in nature.

Keywords: quantum gravity; quantum effects near singularities; quantum stars

Chapter.  6486 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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