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Quantum Mechanics, Spacetime Locality, and Gravity

Abstract

Quantum mechanics introduces the concept of probability at the fundamental level, yielding the measurement problem. On the other hand, recent progress in cosmology has led to the "multiverse" picture, in which our observed universe is only one of the many, bringing an apparent arbitrariness in defining probabilities, called the measure problem. In this paper, we discuss how these two problems are related with each other, developing a picture for quantum measurement and cosmological histories in the quantum mechanical universe. In order to describe the cosmological dynamics correctly within the full quantum mechanical context, we need to identify the structure of the Hilbert space for a system with gravity. We argue that in order to keep spacetime locality, the Hilbert space for dynamical spacetime must be defined only in restricted spacetime regions: in and on the (stretched) apparent horizon as viewed from a fixed reference frame. This requirement arises from eliminating all the redundancies and overcountings in a general relativistic, global spacetime description of nature. It is responsible for horizon complementarity as well as the "observer dependence" of horizons/spacetime-these phenomena arise to represent changes of the reference frame in the relevant Hilbert space. This can be viewed as an extension of the Poincaré transformation in the quantum gravitational context. Given an initial condition, the evolution of the multiverse state obeys the laws of quantum mechanics-it evolves deterministically and unitarily. The beginning of the multiverse, however, is still an open issue. © 2013 The Author(s).

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