Magnifying Spacetime: How Physics Changes with Scale

Daniel Coumbe
Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark

Series: Physics Research and Technology
BISAC: SCI098000




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Fundamental physics has now been stuck for almost a century. Ever since the discovery of general relativity and quantum mechanics in the early 1900s, the brightest minds in physics have been striving to combine these two paradigms into a single unified theory of quantum gravity, without success. The general consensus is that we are missing a big piece of the puzzle.

Now, there are exciting new hints coming from fundamental physics research that may finally unlock the enigma of quantum gravity, the holy grail of modern physics. Recent results point toward one central idea; the importance of scale transformations in physics. Magnifying Spacetime delivers new insights into the role of scale in quantum gravity from the cutting-edge of modern research using an accessible and pedagogical style. The ideal complementary text for undergraduate and graduate students, this book also serves as an essential resource for professional physicists working on related topics. However, the scientifically literate layman should also find this work accessible due to the emphasis on conceptual understanding.

Daniel Coumbe takes readers on a journey from the basics of scale transformations to the frontiers of quantum gravity research, including fractal geometry, minimum length scenarios, the renormalization group, Weinberg’s asymptotic safety scenario, causal dynamical triangulations, spontaneous dimensional reduction, and Weyl’s modification of Einstein’s general relativity.

Isaac Asimov said, “The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not, Eureka! I’ve found it, but, that’s odd!” The recent discovery that the world may be two-dimensional at extremely small distances, which is one of many striking results covered in this book, certainly counts as odd. There is now a small window of opportunity in which to get ahead of the curve by understanding such phenomena and developing new theoretical models and predictions, before the coming surge of experimental results.
(Imprint: Nova)

Chapter 1. Preface

Chapter 2. Introduction

Chapter 3. Scale Transformations

Chapter 4. Fractals

Chapter 5. A Minimum Scale?

Chapter 6. The Renormalisation Group

Chapter 7. The Asymptotic Safety Scenario

Chapter 8. Quantum Gravity on the Lattice

Chapter 9. Is the Dimension of Spacetime Scale Dependent?

Chapter 10. Scale Dependent Spacetime

Chapter 11. Final Thoughts

"This book gives a good account of a very interesting field of research, covering work by the author and the quantum gravity community. One of the most important results described in this book involves the dimension of spacetime at various distance scales." - Professor Emeritus Holger Bech Nielsen, Niels Bohr Institue. Co-creator of String Theory

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