Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Quantum Cosmology - Imaginary Time

  1. Aug 14, 2009 #1
    I have trouble understanding the concept of imaginary time. As I understand it (by reading other online sources), imaginary time was developed by Stephen Hawking and Hartle in their theory of quantum cosmology. Quantum cosmology is applying quantum mechanical principles to cosmology as a whole, so the concept of the wave function is applied to the universe as a whole. There are infinite number of parallel universes as a consequence of applying the wave function to the universe. Also, an application of imaginary time can be found in quantum tunneling. When a particle is in the process of quantum tunneling, it is said to be in imaginary time. There are other technical terms I encountered during my reading such as Wick's rotation and Sum Over History Path Integral which I wasn't able to understand. Is my understanding of this topic accurate at all? Is there more to the story than this?
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2009
  2. jcsd
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Can you offer guidance or do you also need help?
Draft saved Draft deleted