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Quantum gravity

Quantum gravity: reconciling relativity with quantum theory

Professor Dowker explains how recent work in theoretical and experimental physics are allowing us to glimpse how the General Theory of Relativity might be reconciled with the effects of quantum mechanics through the concept of granularity of spacetime itself.

The Theoretical Physics Group at Imperial College London features world leading research in some of the most exciting areas of theoretical physics including string theory, quantum field theory, cosmology, quantum foundations and gravity.

As part of this group at the forefront of research, Professor Dowker studies quantum gravity, which she says is ‘more the name of a problem than a theory’. Quantum gravity is the hallowed link between general relativity and quantum theory, and she and others are trying to figure out what kinds of theories could work to make the link.

Her approach to quantum gravity is based on the hypothesis that spacetime is fundamentally granular or atomic. She and her co-workers believe these ‘atoms of spacetime’ could be the key to understanding the entropy of black holes.

Fay is also one of five Imperial physicists who have worked in Stephen Hawking’s group at Imperial. “He has always asked really fundamental questions, the deepest ones, the ones that can appear too difficult to make progress on,” she says of her former PhD supervisor. “He has made contributions to our understanding of spacetime that are the stepping stones to a full understanding of quantum gravity.”


Prof Fay Dowker | talks


Date and Time:

21 March 2017 at 7:00 pm


1 hour 30 minutes



Friends of Imperial College
Imperial College London
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020 3239 7699

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