The Quantum Mechanics of the Universe

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


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.


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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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