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Singularities and Scalar Fields: Matter Theory and General Relativity

James Mattingly
Philosophy of Science
Vol. 68, No. 3, Supplement: Proceedings of the 2000 Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association. Part I: Contributed Papers (Sep., 2001), pp. S395-S406
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3080961
Page Count: 12
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Singularities and Scalar Fields: Matter Theory and General Relativity
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Abstract

Philosophers of physics should be more attentive to the role energy conditions play in General Relativity. I review the changing status of energy conditions for quantum fields-presently there are no singularity theorems for semiclassical General Relativity. So we must reevaluate how we understand the relationship between General Relativity, Quantum Field Theory, and singularities. Moreover, on our present understanding of what it is to be a physically reasonable field, the standard energy conditions are violated classically. Thus the singularity theorems are unavailable for classical General Relativity. Our understanding of singularities in General Relativity turns on delicate issues of what it is to be a matter field-issues distinct from the content of the theory.

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