Physics Seminar: Dr Brian Pitts

Centre for Computational Physics

Date: Wednesday 27th of January 2021, 13:30.
Location: Online (MS Teams meeting).

‘Change and Observables in Hamiltonian General Relativity’

by Dr Brian Pitts, School of History and Heritage, University of Lincoln, Lincoln, UK.


Since the 1950s it has been claimed that change is missing in the formulation of General Relativity most straightforwardly quantized, the Hamiltonian (“canonical”) formulation. In particular, “observables” are said to be constants of the motion and to require integration over the whole universe. This talk gives a technical evaluation of that claim and a sketch of the trajectory of canonical GR co-founder Peter Bergmann’s thoughts on the topic. Technically one finds that the typical notion of observables (as having 0 Poisson bracket with each first-class constraint) contains 2 suspect ingredients. One is the use of first-class constraints separately rather than as a team, the Rosenfeld-Anderson-Bergmann-Castellani “gauge generator” G, which preserves Hamilton’s equations. Use…

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