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- Timeless Questions in the Decoherent Histories Approach to Quantum Theory

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07120014

In any attempt to construct a Quantum Theory of Gravity, one has to deal with the fact that Time in Quantum Mechanics appears to be very different from Time in General Relativity. This is the famous (or actually

notorious!) \"Problem of Time\", and gives rise to both conceptual and technical problems. The decoherent histories approach to quantum theory, is an alternative formulation of quantum theory specially designed to deal with closed (no-external observer or environment) systems. This approach has been considered particularly promising, in dealing with the problem of time, since it puts space and time in equal footing (unlike standard QM) . This talk develops a particular implementation of the above expectations, i.e.

we construct a general set of \"Class Operators\" corresponding to questions that appear to be \"Timeless\" (independent of the parameter time), but correspond to physically interesting questions. This is similar to finding a general enough set of timeless observables, in the evolving constants approach to the problem of time.

©2012 Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics