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Emergent Spacetime in String Theory

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thesis
posted on 28.06.2013, 00:00 by Tiziana Vistarini
The general theory of relativity, the most far-reaching of Einstein’s scientific achievements, describes spacetime as the medium of gravity. This fact characterizes spacetime as one of the fundamental dynamical objects of the theory, necessary element in its description of reality. It is widely known that a quantum theory of gravity radically changes this idea of spacetime as being part of a fundamental description of our physical world. Despite far from being a complete quantum theory of gravity, string theory is one of the most promising approach to it. The theory has the good property of predicting gravity and it seems to deliver a view in which ordinary spacetime, no longer a fundamental tile of reality, emerges from its dynamical equations. My dissertation is an analysis of the emergent nature of spacetime in string theory. The notion of emergence is involved in many philosophical disputes and it branches off in a multitude of different subjects. In this work I shall not examine all its declinations. My focus will be instead only on some particular uses of this notion which are central to the current debate on the fate of spacetime in string theory: spacetime emergence in the contest of theoretical dualities, in particular T-duality, and spacetime emergence in the context of time-space non-commutativity. The analysis unravels through a presentation of the main scientific literature on the topic, along with a presentation of my interpretational proposals.

History

Advisor

Huggett, Nick

Department

Philosophy

Degree Grantor

University of Illinois at Chicago

Degree Level

Doctoral

Committee Member

Hilbert, David Jarrett, Jon Licht, Arthur Davey, Kevin

Submitted date

2013-05

Language

en

Issue date

28/06/2013