Loop Quantum Gravity Explained

Astronomy
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It’s time we talked about loop quantum gravity. What exactly is it? What are the loops? And can it really defeat string theory in our quest for a Theory of Everything?

Hosted by Matt O’Dowd
Written by Graeme Gossel & Matt O’Dowd
Graphics by Leonardo Scholzer
Directed by: Andrew Kornhaber
Executive Producers: Eric Brown & Andrew Kornhaber

The holy grail of physics is to connect our understanding of the tiny scales of atoms and subatomic particles with that of the vast scales of planets, galaxies, and the entire universe. To connect quantum physics with Einstein’s general theory of relativity. Our search for a theory of quantum gravity is a century old, and we’ve talked quite a bit about it already, including what’s probably the lead contender – string theory. But string theory isn’t the only game in town – or so some physicists believe. There may be another way to reconcile the physics of the tiny and the gigantic – another way to a theory of quantum gravity that avoids a lot of conceptual baggage like tiny wiggling strings made of coiled up extra dimensions. That other way would be loop quantum gravity, and today we’re going to learn exactly what it is.

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