Relational Events and the Conflict Between Relativity and the Collapse

  • Thomas FilkEmail author
Part of the On Thinking book series (ONTHINKING, volume 4)


It is shown that some of the conundrums of quantum theory, which are related to the locality structure of space–time, appear less astounding when space–time is considered as relational, and the localization of an event is defined by the relations this event has to other events. In particular, a relational space (or a relational space–time) might indicate how the dilemma of Bell’s theorem—either quantum theory has no “elements of reality” or it is non-local—can be avoided. Furthermore, it is argued that quantum theory may be more amiable to the implementation of a “present” as compared to classical physics. This present should be considered not as the point-like separation between a future and a past but rather as a temporally extended process related to decoherence. Two models of how a notion of the present can be combined with a relational theory of space–time are presented.


Quantum State Quantum Theory Physical Object Spatial Point Relational Space 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



I acknowledge many stimulating discussions during the Parmenides-Workshop “The Forgotten Present” (Munich-Pullach, April 29th – May 2nd, 2010) with all participants, in particular with Julian Barbour, Avshalom Elitzur, Domenico Giulini, Basil Hiley, and Hans Primas.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of PhysicsUniversity of FreiburgFreiburgGermany
  2. 2.Parmenides Center for the Study of ThinkingMunichGermany

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