The problem of time in quantum mechanics

Crisol J Escobedo, University of Texas at El Paso


The purpose of my thesis is to gain a better understanding of the nature of time and the problems associated with time. For example, I aim to explore the problem associated with the energy-time uncertainty relation due to the lack of a universal operator for time. Using Jan Hilgevoord's work, I will explore the idea that if a measure of time is to be obtained in quantum mechanics, then time has to be a property of physical systems that can only be measured in relation to other systems. As such, time cannot be independent of physical systems. This implies that there cannot be time without physical systems. As a result, I will show how the philosophical position of “Relationism with Respect to Time” provides an accurate account of the nature of time that is consistent with observations made in physics. In order to achieve this, I will: (1) present Hilgevoord's argument about the problems of time in quantum mechanics; (2) provide an account of the ontology of time based on Hilgevoord's work; and (3) provide an analysis of the implications of what I am proposing in connection to Einstein's theory of special and general relativity in hopes of showing that his insights can and should be applied to quantum mechanics.^

Subject Area

Philosophy|Physics, Theory

Recommended Citation

Escobedo, Crisol J, "The problem of time in quantum mechanics" (2009). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI1465248.