Would Two Dimensions be World Enough for Spacetime?

Publication Year:
2017
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Repository URL:
http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/14248
Author(s):
Fletcher, Samuel C.; Manchak, John Byron; Schneider, Mike D.; Weatherall, James Owen
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preprint description
We consider various curious features of general relativity, and relativistic field theory, in two spacetime dimensions. In particular, we discuss: the vanishing of the Einstein tensor; the failure of an initial-value formulation for vacuum spacetimes; the status of singularity theorems; the non-existence of a Newtonian limit; the status of the cosmological constant; and the character of matter fields, including perfect fluids and electromagnetic fields. We conclude with a discussion of what constrains our understanding of physics in different dimensions.