Speaker: Henrique Gomes (Perimeter Institute, Waterloo)
Title: New vistas from the Many-Instant Landscape
Abstract: Quantum gravity has many conceptual problems. Amongst the most well-known is the "Problem of Time": gravitational observables are global in time, while we would really like to obtain probabilities for processes taking us from an observable at one time to another, later one. Tackling these questions using relationalism will be the preferred strategy during this talk. The 'relationalist' approach leads us to shed much redundant information and enables us to identify a reduced configuration space as the arena on which physics unfolds, a goal still beyond our reach in general relativity. Moreover, basing our ontology on this space has far-reaching consequences. One is that it suggests a natural interpretation of quantum mechanics; it is a form of ‘Many-Worlds’ which I have called Many-Instant Bayesianism. Another is that the gravitational reduced configuration space has a rich, highly asymmetric structure which singles out preferred, non-singular and homogeneous initial conditions for a wave-function of the universe, which is yet to be explored.