The nature of space and time is one of the most foundational mysteries in both Physics and Philosophy. At the heart of this mystery are the two most successful theories of nature: Einstein's theory of relativity, an elegant and precise description of the geometry of our universe on large scales, and Quantum Mechanics, outlining accurate laws of interaction in the subatomic world. But these two great triumphs of 20th century physics remain inherently inconsistent, contradictory in their most basic principles, such as locality and causality. Nonetheless, the experimental domains or natural phenomena where these contradictions become manifest have remained elusive, and it is not clear that a century of theoretical investigation into quantum gravity is anywhere close to being verified in nature.
Arguably, this disconnect is our greatest and most foundational challenge in the history of Physics; despite groundbreaking progress in both theory and observations of quantum spacetimes, these two endeavours are moving farther apart. Successfully responding to this century-old challenge could require rethinking the epistemology of fundamental physics. While physicists are trained to push the frontiers of knowledge, developing a grand vision of the arch of history, and where we are (or should be) heading is a more
interdisciplinary endeavor, requiring insights from theory and observations, but also philosophy and history.
We plan a focused, interactive, and highly interdisciplinary workshop, involving the world’s best theorists, observers, experimentalists, and philosophers, within a supportive, inclusive, and diverse environment, in order to kick start a long term initiative that might be our best bet to make significant progress towards uncovering the quantum nature of spacetime.
Registration will open soon.
Territorial Land Acknowledgement
Perimeter Institute acknowledges that it is situated on the traditional territory of the Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee, and Neutral peoples.
Perimeter Institute is located on the Haldimand Tract. After the American Revolution, the tract was granted by the British to the Six Nations of the Grand River and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation as compensation for their role in the war and for the loss of their traditional lands in upstate New York. Of the 950,000 acres granted to the Haudenosaunee, less than 5 percent remains Six Nations land. Only 6,100 acres remain Mississaugas of the Credit land.
We thank the Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee, and Neutral peoples for hosting us on their land.