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

Quantum mechanics and General Relativity overlap

  1. Jul 3, 2011 #1
    I am not an expert on cosmology, merely an interested layman, so I hope my question is not either too stupid or obvious.
    As I understand it from reading books (currently Brian Greene's "Fabric of the Cosmos"), general relativity (GR) is used for analysing large massive objects whereas quantum mechanics (QM) works for small light objects and that the 2 theories have not yet been successfully unified. But this poses a question, What about the middle ground? At what point in the spectrum from large/ massive to small/ light does GR not function and vice versa for QM. Is it sudden or gradual fall off in effectivness for either theory.
    Greene refers to the centre of a black hole (massive and tiny) where both GR and QM are needed but can't be used because they don't fit together.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 3, 2011 #2

    bcrowell

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Welcome to PF!

    Yes, there are situations where you need both quantum mechanics and gravity. We have no experiments or observations that probe those situations. If we had empirical information about such situations, it would be a lot easier to construct a theory of quantum gravity.
     
  4. Jul 3, 2011 #3

    mathman

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    When both quantum theory and general relativity are both needed (for exasmple inside a black hole) it ends up with mathematical nonsense.
     
  5. Jul 3, 2011 #4
    I was wondering, is there any overlap between Quantum Information Theory and General Relativity? The black hole information paradox could be solved by devoloping knowledge about quantum information in strong gravitational field?

    If someone wants to study this overlap between these 2 differentes areas of physics, what would be better: having a PhD in Quantum Information Theory or in Cosmology?

    thanks for the help
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook