General Relativity And Quantum Mechanics

Main Question or Discussion Point

Hey everyone, I'm having some trouble finding the discrepancies between general relativity and quantum mechanics. Could someone please give me a dummy's version of how the two theories contradict eachother. In general, I know that general relativity suggests that the prescence of mass and energy warp the curvurature of space-time. Also, quantum mechanics suggests the existence of discrete states as well as many other things. In what aspects do the two theories contradict eachother. The most watered down version you can give me is perfectly fine. I'm an engineer and have not studied most of these more theoretical concepts. I've only been exposed to very very basic quantum mechanics and special relativity. Thank you!
 

Answers and Replies

DrChinese
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abercrombiems02 said:
The most watered down version you can give me is perfectly fine.
The usual discrepancy between the two is in the very early universe, when predicted GR effects tend to infinity ("a singularity"). There is no analog to this state in QM.

I personally would say there is not so much a contradiction between the two, as that they apply over a slightly different domain. Despite the detemined and persistent efforts of top physicists, no consistent theory of unified quantum gravity has been forthcoming to date.

a. It is possible that GR and QM are both "correct"; but are not subsets of a single "theory of everything" (TOE).

b. It is also possible that both gravity and quantum fields are related dynamically via gravitons, but that there is no experimental possibility of demonstrating such within reach of future particle accelerators.

c. It is also possible that with some future adjustments, a good TOE will be discovered and eventually verified by experiment.
 
mathman
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One area where these is a problem is the question of what happens inside a black hole. When applying QM and GR together mathematical nonsense results.
 

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