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Quantum fluctuations and order

  1. Jul 7, 2015 #1
    Is there a good explanation for how we can explain an ordered universe arising from an inherently uncertain quantum world? I'm aware of the conflict between special relativity and quantum vacuum fluctuations, but is this the only issue? The correspondence principle would seem to imply that quantum gives rise to classical, but I haven't seen a good explanation as to why this is true.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 7, 2015 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    There is no conflict. Quantum field theory has both in a consistent framework.

    Quantum fluctuations are simply too small to matter in our everyday world (unless you look at things like spectroscopy). The central value is always the classical behavior, tiny deviations from that are often irrelevant.
  4. Jul 8, 2015 #3
    Yes I meant General Relativity
  5. Jul 8, 2015 #4


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  6. Jul 8, 2015 #5
    Thanks for the reply. So when does talk of a TOE enter?
  7. Jul 8, 2015 #6


    Staff: Mentor

    Into what?

  8. Jul 8, 2015 #7
    I was always under the impression that we searched for a TOE because quantum field theory can only explain 3 of the four fundamental forces. If QFT can describe the 3, and this paper suggests that an effective field theory can explain quantum gravity, doesn't this effectively constitute a TOE? Where are the conflicts that I always hear about? I've always been a little confused on this issue.
  9. Jul 8, 2015 #8


    Staff: Mentor

    We search for a TOE for all sorts of reasons. But of relevance to EFT Quantum Gravity is the desire to peek behind the cutoff the theory has.

  10. Jul 8, 2015 #9
    The cutoff being the small scale right? Although wikipedia is not always reliable... "Through years of research, physicists have experimentally confirmed with tremendous accuracy virtually every prediction made by these two theories when in their appropriate domains of applicability. In accordance with their findings, scientists also learned that GR and QFT, as they are currently formulated, are mutually incompatible - they cannot both be right."
  11. Jul 8, 2015 #10


    Staff: Mentor

    As the paper I linked to explains that view is now outdated.

    The cutoff is at small distance scales.

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