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Dear Dr. B: What are the requirements for a successful theory of quantum gravity?

28 Mar 2016, 11:27 UTC
Dear Dr. B: What are the requirements for a successful theory of quantum gravity?
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“I've often heard you say that we don't have a theory of quantum gravity yet. What would be the requirements, the conditions, for quantum gravity to earn the label of 'a theory' ?I am particularly interested in the nuances on the difference between satisfying current theories (GR&QM) and satisfying existing experimental data. Because a theory often entails an interpretation whereas a piece of experimental evidence or observation can be regarded as correct 'an sich'.That aside from satisfying the need for new predictions, etc.Thank you,Best Regards,Noa Drake”Dear Noa,I want to answer your question in two parts. First: What does it take for a hypothesis to earn the label “theory” in physics? And second: What are the requirements for a theory of quantum gravity in particular?” What does it take for a hypothesis to earn the label “theory” in physics? Like almost all nomenclature in physics – except the names of new heavy elements – the label “theory” is not awarded by some agreed-upon regulation, but emerges from usage in the community – or doesn’t. Contrary to what some science popularizers want the public to believe, scientists do not use the word “theory” in a very precise way. Some names stick, others ...

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