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Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences

Quantum Gravity and Quantum Information

Limits of Quantum Mechanics from General Relativity: a Clash of Principles

Author: Roger Penrose (Oxford)


The subject of "quantum gravity" is generally studied from the point of view of how our classical space-time picture might become modified when it is made subject to the principles of quantum (field) theory. Yet there are several good reasons to believe that, conversely, the very principles of quantum mechanics are also limited in their scope, and that Einstein's principle of equivalence may supply a limitation to the basic quantum principle of linear superposition. Such a limitation is suggested from a study of the Galilean limit of the Unruh effect, and appears to be accessible to forseeable experimental test.