The trinity of relational quantum dynamics



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Recording Details

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PIRSA Number: 
20030093

Abstract

In order to solve the problem of time in quantum gravity, various approaches to a relational quantum dynamics have been proposed. In this talk, I will exploit quantum reduction maps to illustrate a previously unknown equivalence between three of the well-known ones: (1) relational observables in the clock-neutral picture of Dirac quantization, (2) Page and Wootters’ (PW) Schrödinger picture formalism, and (3) the relational Heisenberg picture obtained via symmetry reduction. Constituting three faces of the same dynamics, we call this equivalence the trinity. To establish the equivalence, a quantization procedure for relational Dirac observables is developed using covariant POVMs which encompass non-ideal clocks. The quantum reduction maps reveal this procedure as the quantum analog of the classical method of gauge-invariantly extending gauge-fixed quantities. The quantum reduction maps also allow one to extend a recent ‘clock-neutral’ approach to changing temporal reference frames, transforming relational observables and states between different clock choices, and demonstrate a clock dependent temporal nonlocality effect. Using the trinity, I will discuss how Kuchar's three fundamental criticisms against the PW formalism, namely that its conditional probabilities would (i) yield the wrong localization probabilities for relativistic particles, (ii) violate the constraints, and (iii) produce incorrect transition probabilities, can be resolved. Given the trinity, these resolutions also apply to approaches (1) and (3) and corroborate the PW formalism, if done correctly, as a viable approach to the problem of time. Time permitting, I will explain, however, why the slogan `time from entanglement' in the PW formalism is misleading.