Abstract:
The problem of observables in classical and quantum gravity is a long-standing one. It is sometimes argued that observable quantities should be diffeomorphsm invariant, following the philosophy of Dirac. We argue that diffeomorphism invariance in classical and quantum gravity is not primarily a case of gauge invariance but rather an example of spontaneous symmetry breaking of the diffeomorphism group. As a consequence, observables fall into two classes, Dirac observables which are invariant under the full diffeomorphism group and more general observables which take on different (expectation) values in the different phases of the broken (diffeomorphims) symmetry group. To this latter class belong for example scalar functions of the metric tensor.

Abstract:
Following a review of quantum-classical hybrid dynamics, we discuss the ensuing proliferation of observables and relate it to measurements of (would-be) quantum mechanical degrees of freedom performed by (would-be) classical ones (if they were separable). -- Hybrids consist in coupled classical ("CL") and quantum mechanical ("QM") objects. Numerous consistency requirements for their description have been discussed and are fulfilled here. We summarize a representation of quantum mechanics in terms of classical analytical mechanics which is naturally extended to QM-CL hybrids. This framework allows for superposition, separable, and entangled states originating in the QM sector, admits experimenter's "Free Will", and is local and non-signalling. -- Presently, we study the set of hybrid observables, which is larger than the Cartesian product of QM and CL observables of its components; yet it is smaller than a corresponding product of all-classical observables. Thus, quantumness and classicality infect each other.

Abstract:
We give an overview of some conceptual difficulties, sometimes called paradoxes, that have puzzled for years the physical interpetation of classical canonical gravity and, by extension, the canonical formulation of generally covariant theories. We identify these difficulties as stemming form some terminological misunderstandings as to what is meant by "gauge invariance", or what is understood classically by a "physical state". We make a thorough analysis of the issue and show that all purported paradoxes disappear when the right terminology is in place. Since this issue is connected with the search of observables - gauge invariant quantities - for these theories, we formally show that time evolving observables can be constructed for every observer. This construction relies on the fixation of the gauge freedom of diffeomorphism invariance by means of a scalar coordinatization. We stress the condition that the coordinatization must be made with scalars. As an example of our method for obtaining observables we discuss the case of the massive particle in AdS spacetime.

Abstract:
Some of the most outstanding questions in the field of gravitation and geometry remain unsolved as a result of our limited understanding of the global structure of the spacetime geometry and the role played by global spacetime diffeomorphism group in quantum gravity. Some insight into these important questions may be gained by looking at certain aspects of general covariance and observables in classical gravitational theory. In this paper I shall define as set of classical geometric observables of the gravitational field by which I mean Diff(M)-gauge invariant cohomology classes defined on a Lorentzian structure. They represent global characteristics of the physical gravitational phenomena, are linked to the topology of the spacetime, and can be used in constructing new Lagrangians. The problem of finding a complete set of data out of observables is related perhaps to the fact that at present moment, manifolds in dimension 4 and above cannot be effectively classified. One could interpret this result as a pointer to the possibility that there might be spacetimes with different topologies (i.e., different global characteristics) which have indistinguishable local spacetime geometry.

Abstract:
We discuss the distinction between the notion of partial observable and the notion of complete observable. Mixing up the two is frequently a source of confusion. The distinction bears on several issues related to observability, such as (i) whether time is an observable in quantum mechanics, (ii) what are the observables in general relativity, (iii) whether physical observables should or should not commute with the Wheeler-DeWitt operator in quantum gravity. We argue that the extended configuration space has a direct physical interpretation, as the space of the partial observables. This space plays a central role in the structure of classical and quantum mechanics and the clarification of its physical meaning sheds light on this structure, particularly in context of general covariant physics.

Abstract:
We present a reformulation of quantum mechanics in terms of probability measures and functions on a general classical sample space and in particular in terms of probability densities and functions on phase space. The basis of our proceeding is the existence of so-called statistically complete observables and the duality between the state spaces and the spaces of the observables, the latter holding in the quantum as well as in the classical case. In the phase-space context, we further discuss joint position-momentum observables, Hilbert spaces of infinitely differentiable functions on phase space, and dequantizations. Finally, the relation of quantum dynamics to the classical Liouville dynamics is investigated.

Abstract:
Having the quantum correlations in a general bipartite state in mind, the information accessible by simultaneous measurement on both subsystems is shown never to exceed the information accessible by measurement on one subsystem, which, in turn is proved not to exceed the von Neumann mutual information. A particular pair of (opposite- subsystem) observables are shown to be responsible both for the amount of quasi-classical correlations and for that of the purely quantum entanglement in the pure-state case: the former via simultaneous subsystem measurements, and the latter through the entropy of coherence or of incompatibility, which is defined for the general case. The observables at issue are so-called twin observables. A general definition of the latter is given in terms of their detailed properties.

Abstract:
This is the extended version of a talk presented at the J.W.Goethe Universitaet Frankfurt a. M. and at the same time a preview at a forthcoming extensive publication on the same subject. It is shown that there is a common background structure for quantum and classical observables. Moreover, a contextual generalization of the notion of quantum observable is proposed.

Abstract:
In this work simple and effective quantization procedure of classical dynamical systems is proposed and illustrated by a number of examples. The procedure is based entirely on differential equations which describe time evolution of systems.

Abstract:
A class of diffeomorphism invariant, physical observables, so-called astrometric observables, is introduced. A particularly simple example, the time delay, which expresses the difference between two initially synchronized proper time clocks in relative inertial motion, is analyzed in detail. It is found to satisfy some interesting inequalities related to the causal structure of classical Lorentzian spacetimes. Thus it can serve as a probe of causal structure and in particular of violations of causality. A quantum model of this observable as well as the calculation of its variance due to vacuum fluctuations in quantum linearized gravity are sketched. The question of whether the causal inequalities are still satisfied by quantized gravity, which is pertinent to the nature of causality in quantum gravity, is raised, but it is shown that perturbative calculations cannot provide a definite answer. Some potential applications of astrometric observables in quantum gravity are discussed.