Relativistic Quantum Clocks

  • Maximilian P. E. LockEmail author
  • Ivette Fuentes
Part of the Tutorials, Schools, and Workshops in the Mathematical Sciences book series (TSWMS)


The conflict between quantum theory and the theory of relativity is exemplified in their treatment of time. We examine the ways in which their conceptions differ, and describe a semiclassical clock model combining elements of both theories. The results obtained with this clock model in flat spacetime are reviewed, and the problem of generalizing the model to curved spacetime is discussed, before briefly describing an experimental setup which could be used to test of the model. Taking an operationalist view, where time is that which is measured by a clock, we discuss the conclusions that can be drawn from these results, and what clues they contain for a full quantum relativistic theory of time.



MPEL acknowledges support from the EPSRC via the Controlled Quantum Dynamics CDT (EP/G037043/1), and IF acknowledges support from FQXi via the ‘Physics of the observer’ award ‘Quantum Observers in a Relativistic World’.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhysicsImperial CollegeLondonUK
  2. 2.Faculty of PhysicsUniversity of ViennaViennaAustria
  3. 3.School of Mathematical SciencesUniversity of NottinghamNottinghamUK

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