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The Quantum Mechanics of the Universe

  • Steven W. Hawking
Part of the Fundamental Theories of Physics book series (FTPH, volume 9)

Abstract

Classical general relativity predicts that the universe had a singular origin. I show that the singularity can be removed by quantum mechanics, just as in the case of the classical model of the atom. I propose that the quantum state of the universe is defined by a path integral over compact positive definite metrics. I show that in a simple model this boundary condition leads to a wave function which can be regarded as a superposition of wave functions peaked around classical oscillating solutions with a long inflationary period.

Keywords

Wave Function Quantum State Light Cone Matter Field Finite Region 
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.

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References

  1. Gibbons, G.W., and Hawking, S.W.: 1977, “Action integrals and partition functions in quatum gravity”, Phys. Rev., D15, 2752.MathSciNetADSGoogle Scholar
  2. Hartle, J.B., and Hawking, S.W.: 1983, “Wave Function of the Universe”, Phys. Rev., D, to be published.Google Scholar
  3. Hawking, S.W.: 1979a, “The Path-integral approach to quantum gravity”, in S.W. Hawking, and W. Israel (eds), General Relativity: An Einstein Centenary Survey, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, p. 746.Google Scholar
  4. Hawking, S.W.: 1979b, “Euclidean Quantum Gravity”, in S. Deser, and M. Levy (eds), Recent Developments in Gravitation, Plenum Press, New York, p. 145.Google Scholar
  5. Hawking, S.W.: 1983a, “Quantum Cosmology”, in Les Houches lectures, to be published.Google Scholar
  6. Hawking, S.W.: 1983b, “The Quantum State of the Universe”, University of Cambridge preprint.Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steven W. Hawking
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical PhysicsUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeEngland

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