Public Release: 

University Of Warwick Physics Doctoral Student Bends Time To Prove Einstein Was Right

University of Warwick

A research student at the University of Warwick has produced a doctoral thesis which could reunite Einstein's general theory of relativity with the seemingly incompatible theory of quantum mechanics.

For today's physicists Einstein's general theory of relativity contradicts what we can see and measure in nature. The general theory of relativity says that the position, energy and momentum of any object can all be measured with infinite precision which is at direct variance with the uncertainties in the same measurements that are an essential part of tested and proven theory of quantum mechanics.

University of Warwick Physics postgraduate Dr. Mark Hadley has applied a prediction of Einstein's general theory of relativity that space can actually have a different topology or shape -- in effect to be "bent" -- to suggest that time as a dimension might also be "bent" in the same way, so that some (or all) subatomic particles could contain closed loops of time within them. This ability of a particle to use a loop of time could answer such questions in quantum theory as how elementary particles still seem to have an instantaneous affect on each other even when separated.

Dr Hadley goes on to examine Einstein's conviction that all subatomic particles are individual tangled knots of space known as geons. That theory was abandoned because it did not agree with the observations and predictions of quantum mechanics, but Dr Hadley believes that quantum effects can be predicted if geons are seen as being a knot in both space and time. He thus calls them 4-geons .

Dr Hadley's research has just been published in Foundations of Physics Letters in a paper entitled "The Logic of Quantum Mechanics Derived From Classical General Relativity."

This novel theory made the task of defending his thesis extremely tough. Sceptical examiners found Dr Hadley's work innovative, but wanted to see a lot more evidence before they even consider abandoning years of work on the more conventional theories. He was awarded his doctorate but the examiners have put the ball (or geon!) back in his court and suggested that he should try to show what a sub atomic particle would look like if it was indeed a 4-geon. One model he is considering envisages each subatomic particle as a mini black hole with an event horizon that encloses any closed time loop within the particle itself. This would let the particle make use of the bend in time but would preclude any other outside agency from accessing the time loop - so even with this theory time travelling men are not terribly likely.


Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.