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Carlo Rovelli
Aix-Marseille University
  1.  24
    Quantum Gravity.Carlo Rovelli - 2007 - Cambridge University Press.
    Quantum gravity poses the problem of merging quantum mechanics and general relativity, the two great conceptual revolutions in the physics of the twentieth century. The loop and spinfoam approach, presented in this book, is one of the leading research programs in the field. The first part of the book discusses the reformulation of the basis of classical and quantum Hamiltonian physics required by general relativity. The second part covers the basic technical research directions. Appendices include a detailed history of the (...)
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  2. Relational Quantum Mechanics.Carlo Rovelli - 1996 - International Journal of Theoretical Physics 35 (8):1637--1678.
  3. “Forget Time”: Essay Written for the FQXi Contest on the Nature of Time.Carlo Rovelli - 2011 - Foundations of Physics 41 (9):1475-1490.
    Following a line of research that I have developed for several years, I argue that the best strategy for understanding quantum gravity is to build a picture of the physical world where the notion of time plays no role at all. I summarize here this point of view, explaining why I think that in a fundamental description of nature we must “forget time”, and how this can be done in the classical and in the quantum theory. The idea is to (...)
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  4. Physics Needs Philosophy. Philosophy Needs Physics.Carlo Rovelli - 2018 - Foundations of Physics 48 (5):481-491.
    Contrary to claims about the irrelevance of philosophy for science, I argue that philosophy has had, and still has, far more influence on physics than is commonly assumed. I maintain that the current anti-philosophical ideology has had damaging effects on the fertility of science. I also suggest that recent important empirical results, such as the detection of the Higgs particle and gravitational waves, and the failure to detect supersymmetry where many expected to find it, question the validity of certain philosophical (...)
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  5. Why Gauge?Carlo Rovelli - 2014 - Foundations of Physics 44 (1):91-104.
    The world appears to be well described by gauge theories; why? I suggest that gauge is more than mathematical redundancy. Gauge-dependent quantities can not be predicted, but there is a sense in which they can be measured. They describe “handles” though which systems couple: they represent real relational structures to which the experimentalist has access in measurement by supplying one of the relata in the measurement procedure itself. This observation leads to a physical interpretation for the ubiquity of gauge: it (...)
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  6. Halfway Through the Woods: Contemporary Research on Space and Time.Carlo Rovelli - 1997 - In John Earman & John Norton (eds.), The Cosmos of Science. University of Pittsburgh Press. pp. 180--223.
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  7. Relational EPR.Matteo Smerlak & Carlo Rovelli - 2007 - Foundations of Physics 37 (3):427-445.
    We study the EPR-type correlations from the perspective of the relational interpretation of quantum mechanics. We argue that these correlations do not entail any form of “non-locality”, when viewed in the context of this interpretation. The abandonment of strict Einstein realism implied by the relational stance permits to reconcile quantum mechanics, completeness, (operationally defined) separability, and locality.
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  8.  63
    An Argument Against the Realistic Interpretation of the Wave Function.Carlo Rovelli - 2016 - Foundations of Physics 46 (10):1229-1237.
    Testable predictions of quantum mechanics are invariant under time reversal. But the evolution of the quantum state in time is not so, neither in the collapse nor in the no-collapse interpretations of the theory. This is a fact that challenges any realistic interpretation of the quantum state. On the other hand, this fact raises no difficulty if we interpret the quantum state as a mere calculation device, bookkeeping past real quantum events.
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  9.  9
    Space is Blue and Birds Fly Through It.Carlo Rovelli - unknown
    Quantum mechanics is not about 'quantum states': it is about values of physical variables. I give a short fresh presentation and update on the *relational* perspective on the theory, and a comment on its philosophical implications.
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  10.  62
    Neither Presentism nor Eternalism.Carlo Rovelli - 2019 - Foundations of Physics 49 (12):1325-1335.
    Is reality three-dimensional and becoming real, or is reality four-dimensional and becoming illusory? Both options raise difficulties. I argue that we do not need to be trapped by this dilemma. There is a third possibility: reality has a more complex temporal structure than either of these two naive options. Fundamental becoming is real, but local and unoriented. A notion of present is well defined, but only locally and in the context of approximations.
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  11.  20
    Quantum Spacetime: What Do We Know?Carlo Rovelli - 2001 - In Craig Callender & Nick Huggett (eds.), Physics Meets Philosophy at the Planck Scale. Cambridge University Press. pp. 101--22.
    This is a contribution to a book on quantum gravity and philosophy. I discuss nature and origin of the problem of quantum gravity. I examine the knowledge that may guide us in addressing this problem, and the reliability of such knowledge. In particular, I discuss the subtle modification of the notions of space and time engendered by general relativity, and how these might merge into quantum theory. I also present some reflections on methodological questions, and on some general issues in (...)
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  12.  55
    A Critical Look at Strings.Carlo Rovelli - 2013 - Foundations of Physics 43 (1):8-20.
    Following the invitation of the editors of Foundations of Physics, I give here a personal assessment of string theory, from the point of view of an outsider, and I compare it with the theory, methods, and expectations of my own field.
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  13. The First Scientist: Anaximander and His Legacy.Carlo Rovelli - 2011 - Westholme.
    The sixth century -- Anaximander's contributions -- Atmospheric phenomena -- Earth floats in space, suspended in the void -- Invisible entities and natural laws -- Rebellion becomes virtue -- Writing, democracy, and cultural crossbreeding -- What is science? -- Between cultural relativism and absolute thought -- Can we understand the world without Gods? -- Prescientific thought.
     
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  14. The Disappearance of Space and Time.Carlo Rovelli - 2007 - In Dennis Dieks (ed.), The Disappearance of Space and Time. Elsevier.
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  15.  17
    Meaning = Information + Evolution.Carlo Rovelli - unknown
    Notions like meaning, signal, intentionality, are difficult to relate to a physical word. I study a purely physical definition of "meaningful information", from which these notions can be derived. It is inspired by a model recently illustrated by Kolchinsky and Wolpert, and improves on Dretske classic work on the relation between knowledge and information. I discuss what makes a physical process into a signal.
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  16.  95
    “Incerto Tempore, Incertisque Loci”: Can We Compute the Exact Time at Which a Quantum Measurement Happens? [REVIEW]Carlo Rovelli - 1998 - Foundations of Physics 28 (7):1031-1043.
    Without addressing the measurement problem (i. e., what causes the wave function to “collapse,” or to ”branch,” or a history to become realized, or a property to actualize), I discuss the problem of the timing of the quantum measurement: Assuming that in an appropriate sense a measurement happens, when precisely does it happen? This question can be posed within most interpretations of quantum mechanics. By introducing the operator M, which measures whether or not the quantum measurement has happened, I suggest (...)
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  17.  77
    Some Considerations on Infinity in Physics.Carlo Rovelli - 2011 - In Michał Heller & W. H. Woodin (eds.), Infinity: New Research Frontiers. Cambridge University Press. pp. 167.
    I am a theoretical physicist, and, following Aristotles' injunction (Aristotle, Physics III, 202b 34), I do consider it my responsibility to discuss the problem of the notion of infinity in the world--in particular, to "inquire whether there is such a thing or not." I will do so here by illustrating some aspects of the notion of infinity in the natural sciences.
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  18.  26
    Is Time’s Arrow Perspectival?Carlo Rovelli - unknown
    We observe entropy decrease towards the past. Does this imply that in the past the world was in a non-generic microstate? I point out an alternative. The subsystem to which we belong interacts with the universe via a relatively small number of quantities, which define a coarse graining. Entropy happens to depends on coarse-graining. Therefore the entropy we ascribe to the universe depends on the peculiar coupling between us and the rest of the universe. Low past entropy may be due (...)
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  19.  10
    Space and Time in Loop Quantum Gravity.Carlo Rovelli - unknown
    Quantum gravity is expected to require modifications of the notions of space and time. I discuss and clarify how this happens in Loop Quantum Gravity.
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  20.  82
    Che Cos'è la Scienza: La Rivoluzione di Anassimandro.Carlo Rovelli - 2011 - Mondadori Università.
    All human civilizations have thought that the world was made of sky above and the Earth below. All except one. For the Greeks, the Earth was a rock floating in space, and under the earth there was no ground, no turtles, nor the gigantic columns of which the Bible speaks. How did the Greeks understand that the Earth is suspended in nothingness? Who understood this and how? It is this unique "scientific revolution" of Anaximander of which the author speaks, which (...)
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  21.  26
    Relative Information at the Foundation of Physics.Carlo Rovelli - 2013
    Shannon's notion of relative information between two physical systems can function as foundation for statistical mechanics and quantum mechanics, without referring to subjectivism or idealism. It can also represent a key missing element in the foundation of the naturalistic picture of the world, providing the conceptual tool for dealing with its apparent limitations. I comment on the relation between these ideas and Democritus.
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  22. Is There Incompatibility Between the Ways Time is Treated in General Relativity and in Standard Quantum Mechanics.Carlo Rovelli - 1991 - In A. Ashtekar & J. Stachel (eds.), Conceptual Problems of Quantum Gravity. Birkhauser. pp. 126--140.
     
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  23.  60
    Aristotle’s Physics: A Physicist’s Look.Carlo Rovelli - 2015 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 1 (1):23--40.
    ABSTRACT ABSTRACT: I show that Aristotelian physics is a correct and nonintuitive approximation of Newtonian physics in the suitable domain in the same technical sense in which Newton’s theory is an approximation of Einstein’s theory. Aristotelian physics lasted long not because it became dogma, but because it is a very good, empirically grounded theory. This observation suggests some general considerations on intertheoretical relationships.
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  24.  55
    Comment On: “Causality and the Arrow of Classical Time”, by Fritz Rohrlich.Carlo Rovelli - 2004 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 35 (3):397-405.
    Rohrlich claims that “the problem of the arrow of time in classical dynamics has been solved”. The solution he proposes is based on the equations governing the motion of extended particles. Rohrlich claims that these equations, which must take self-interaction into account, are not invariant under time reversal. I dispute this claim, on several grounds.
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  25.  18
    Comment On: “Causality and the Arrow of Classical Time”, by Fritz Rohrlich.Carlo Rovelli - 2004 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 35 (3):397-405.
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  26.  35
    Heisenberg Mechanics is the Good Mechanics.Carlo Rovelli - 1991 - In A. Ashtekar & J. Stachel (eds.), Conceptual Problems of Quantum Gravity. Birkhauser. pp. 2--126.
  27.  24
    Evolution and Revolution: The Dynamics of Corruption.Cristina Biccieri & Carlo Rovelli - unknown
    Cristina Bicchieri and Carlo Rovelli. Evolution and Revolution: The Dynamics of Corruption.
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  28. Anaximander's Legacy.Carlo Rovelli - 2009 - Collapse. Philosophical Research and Development 5:50-71.
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  29.  60
    Aristotle's Physics.Carlo Rovelli - 2013
    I show that Aristotelian physics is a correct approximation of Newtonian physics in its appropriate domain, in the same precise sense in which Newton theory is an approximation of Einstein's theory. Aristotelian physics lasted long not because it became dogma, but because it is a very good theory.
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  30.  20
    Comment on Fritz Rohrlich's "Causality and the Arrow of Classical Time".Carlo Rovelli - unknown
    Rohrlich claims that ``the problem of the arrow of time in classical dynamics has been solved". The solution he proposes is based on the equations governing the motion of extended particles. Rohrlich claims that these equations, which must take self-interaction into account, are are not invariant under time reversal. I dispute this claim, on several grounds.
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  31. Group Quantization of the Barbour-Bertotti Model.Carlo Rovelli - 1991 - In A. Ashtekar & J. Stachel (eds.), Conceptual Problems of Quantum Gravity. Birkhauser. pp. 2--292.
  32.  45
    Michelangelo’s Stone: An Argument Against Platonism in Mathematics.Carlo Rovelli - 2017 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 7 (2):285-297.
    If there is a ‘platonic world’ \ of mathematical facts, what does \ contain precisely? I observe that if \ is too large, it is uninteresting, because the value is in the selection, not in the totality; if it is smaller and interesting, it is not independent of us. Both alternatives challenge mathematical platonism. I suggest that the universality of our mathematics may be a prejudice and illustrate contingent aspects of classical geometry, arithmetic and linear algebra, making the case that (...)
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  33.  12
    Natural Discrete Differential Calculus in Physics.Carlo Rovelli - 2019 - Foundations of Physics 49 (7):693-699.
    We sharpen a recent observation by Tim Maudlin: differential calculus is a natural language for physics only if additional structure, like the definition of a Hodge dual or a metric, is given; but the discrete version of this calculus provides this additional structure for free.
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  34.  5
    Review of Andrew Gregory's “Anaximander, a Re-Assessment”, Bloomsbury 2016. [REVIEW]Carlo Rovelli - unknown
    Review of the book “Anaximander, a re-assessment”, by Andrew Gregory, submitted to the "Revue des Etudes Anciennes". I take this opportunity also t present some general considerations on the relation between science, history and philosophy.
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  35.  11
    Stable Facts, Relative Facts.Carlo Rovelli & Andrea Di Biagio - 2021 - Foundations of Physics 51 (1):1-13.
    Facts happen at every interaction, but they are not absolute: they are relative to the systems involved in the interaction. Stable facts are those whose relativity can effectively be ignored. In this work, we describe how stable facts emerge in a world of relative facts and discuss their respective roles in connecting quantum theory and the world. The distinction between relative and stable facts resolves the difficulties pointed out by the no-go theorem of Frauchiger and Renner, and is consistent with (...)
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  36.  44
    Shan Gao: The Meaning of the Wave Function. In Search of the Ontology of Quantum Mechanics: Cambridge University Press, 2017.Carlo Rovelli - 2018 - Foundations of Physics 48 (6):747-749.
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  37. The Century of the Incomplete Revolution: Searching for General Releativistic Quantum Field Theory.Carlo Rovelli - 2000 - Journal of Mathematical Physics.
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  38. Time in Quantum Gravity: An Hypothesis.Carlo Rovelli - 1991 - Physical Review D 43 (2):451–456.
    A solution to the issue of time in quantum gravity is proposed. The hypothesis that time is not defined at the fundamental level (at the Planck scale) is considered. A natural extension of canonical Heisenberg-picture quantum mechanics is defined. It is shown that this extension is well defined and can be used to describe the "non-Schrödinger regime," in which a fundamental time variable is not defined. This conclusion rests on a detailed analysis of which quantities are the physical observables of (...)
     
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  39. The Order of Time.Carlo Rovelli - 2018
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