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Covered with Deep MistThe Development of Quantum Gravity (1916-1956)$
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Dean Rickles

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780199602957

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199602957.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 14 June 2021

Geon Wheeler

Geon Wheeler

(p.215) 8 Geon Wheeler
Covered with Deep Mist

Dean Rickles

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on John Wheeler’s work on geons and geometrodynamics which would lead to many concepts and results that would be of importance to quantum gravity research - these projects, initially, were rather old fashioned, harking back to the classical ‘unified field theory’ work of Einstein. Moreover, we find that this work that we now tend to think of as foundational in quantum gravity---e.g., we often think of ‘quantum geometrodynamics’ as just another phrase for ‘quantum gravity’---had its roots firmly embedded in the quest for understanding the elementary particles. It wasn’t until after 1957 that Wheeler began to look seriously at general relativity and quantum gravity independently from concerns in particle physics, and this shift in fact coincides with a more general trend to treat gravitational physics as a worthwhile field in its own right.

Keywords:   John Wheeler, geometrodynamics, geons, unified field theory, Planck scale, Charles Misner, spacetime foam, wormhole

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