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The Gulf between Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity

Prof. Brett Bolen, Grand Valley State University
Tuesday, February 22, 2011, 4:00pm, Science Building 110

the Planck scale

The twentieth century saw two great revolutions in physics: quantum mechanics and general relativity. Although both these theories have had great success in describing the physical world; the two theories are in fundamental conflict at a basic level. In this presentation, I will attempt to describe both theories and discuss this fundamental conflict between them. I will then briefly discuss some of the proposals of resolving this conflict. Finally I will show that virtually all theories of quantum gravity lead to some fundamental length scale which may be described via a modification of the uncertainty principle. I will conclude by examining some of the consequences of this generalized uncertainty principle or GUP.


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