Experimental Search for Quantum Gravity: the hard facts

Conference Date

Monday, October 22, 2012 (All day) to Thursday, October 25, 2012 (All day)

Scientific Areas

Quantum Gravity tries to answer some of the most fundamental questions about the quantum nature of spacetime. To make progress in this area it is mandatory to establish a contact to observations and experiments and to learn what the "hard facts" on quantum gravity are, that nature provides us with.

Quantum Gravity is a field where several approaches, based on different principles and assumptions, develop in parallel. At present it is not clear whether and how some of the approaches are compatible, and might share common properties. This meeting will draw on a diverse set of physicists who come to make proposals for quantum gravity phenomenology from a broad range of perspectives, including path-integral-inspired as well as canonical, and discrete as well as continuum-based approaches, providing a platform to exchange ideas with researchers working on theoretical and experimental aspects of different proposals.

This will be the third in a series of meetings, the first of which was held at PI (2007), the second at NORDITA (2010).

This meeting looks to the future and has two primary goals: 1) to assess the status of different proposals for QG phenomenology in the light of recent experimental results from Fermi, Auger, LHC etc. and 2) to discuss and stimulate new ideas and proposals, coming from a diverse set of viewpoints about quantum spacetime.

In order to allow for a fruitful exchange of ideas across different approaches, and between experimental and theoretical researchers, the workshop will lay a main focus on structured discussion sessions with short (15 min.) presentations. These are mainly intended for an exchange of ideas, and a discussion and development of new possibilities, thus participants are strongly encouraged to present new ideas and work in progress.

  • Niayesh Afshordi, Perimeter Institute
  • Stephon Alexander, Haverford College and Pennsylvania State University
  • Giovanni Amelino-Camelia, University of Rome
  • Ivan Arraut, Osaka University
  • James Bardeen, University of Washington, Seattle
  • Hugo Beauchemin,Tufts University
  • Dario Benedetti, Albert Einstein Institute
  • Dionigi Benincasa, Imperial College, London
  • Eugenio Bianchi, Perimeter Institute
  • Julien Bolmont, Pierre and Marie Curie University
  • Alfio Bonanno, INAF Catania Astrophysical Observatory
  • Robert Brandenberger, McGill University
  • Avery Broderick, Perimeter Institute
  • Xavier Calmet, University of Sussex
  • Antonio Di Domenico, University of Rome
  • Bianca Dittrich, Perimeter Institute
  • Astrid Eichhorn, Perimeter Institute
  • Laurent Freidel, Perimeter Institute
  • Tobias Fritz, Perimeter Institute
  • Steffen Gielen, Perimeter Institute
  • Doug Gingrich, Universityof Alberta
  • Florian Girelli, University of Waterloo
  • Jonathan Granot, University of Hertfordshire
  • Sabine Hossenfelder, NORDITA
  • Drew Jamieson, University of Guelph
  • Oleg Kabernik, University of Waterloo
  • John Kelley, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Jurek Kowalski-Glikman, Institute for Theoretical Physics
  • Stefano Liberati, SISSA
  • Daniel Litim, University of Sussex
  • Joao Magueijo, Imperial College, London
  • Anson Maitland, University of Waterloo
  • Seth Major, Hamilton College
  • David Matthingly, University of New Hampshire
  • John Moffat, Perimeter Institute
  • Holger Mueller, University of California, Berkeley
  • Robert Nemiroff, Michigan Technological University
  • Daniele Oriti, Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics
  • James Overduin, Towson University
  • Roberto Percacci, SISSA
  • Martin Reuter, University of Mainz
  • Markus Risse, University of Siegen
  • Alejandro Satz, University of Maryland
  • Giuseppe Sellaroli, University of Waterloo
  • Lorenzo Sindoni, Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics
  • Lee Smolin, Perimeter Institute
  • Fabrizio Sorba, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
  • Sebastian Steinhaus, Perimeter Institute
  • Dejan Stojkovic, SUNY
  • Daniel Surdarsky, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico
  • Giovanni Venturi, University di Bologna
  • Cameron Williams, University of Waterloo
  • Nicolas Yunes, University of Montana
  • Jonathan Ziprick, Perimeter Institute

New Experimental Ideas:

  • GRBs, TeV photons, high-energy cosmic rays (threshold anomalies, time delay measurements, polarisation effects)
  • How can we use a future linear collider to search for quantum gravity effects? (What motivation do we have to consider extra dimensions above the electroweak scale? Can we access quantum gravity effects in precision measurements?)
  • Quantum gravity and ultracold atoms (Can we see granular spacetime with ultracold atoms? Do we understand QM and classical gravity? Can we "test" Hawking radiation with ions, BECs...)
  • Quantum gravity at high-intensity lasers (Light-shining-through-a-wall experiments, quantum gravity effects in photon-photon scattering, modified dispersion relation tests, analogue Hawking radiation with ultrashort laser pulses)
  • Perspectives for quantum gravity effects in gravitational waves. (How can we see "graviton" effects in gravitational waves? Can we see a scale-or time- dependent Newton coupling?)

Theoretical Ideas:

  • Discrete vs. continuous (How can we decide the question discrete/non-discrete experimentally? Is this a physically meaningful distinction, or is it just a distinction at the level of the description? Does a minimal spatial or spacetime length exist? What is the status of symmetries in discrete approaches? How does singularity resolution work in discrete/continuum approaches?)
  • Is there a mesoscale in quantum gravity? (What are possible experimental manifestations? Is it a non-locality scale?)
  • Dynamical dimensional reduction (Is the transition to 2 dimensions generic? Is it measurable? How does it affect the dynamics of particles? Is spacetime fractal? If so, what kind of fractal and what are the implications for quantum field theory calculations at small scales?)
  • Lorentz-symmetry: Intact, broken or deformed? What are new phenomenological implications of each case? What is the status of fundamental symmetries in quantum gravity? Quantum gravity effects in the effective-field theory framework: How can we use the Renormalisation Group to access quantum gravity effects? What is the precise relation of the effective-field theory framework to different quantum gravity approaches? What are the fundamental variables to use?
  • The cosmological constant (Is it a UV or an IR problem? Is there a particle-physics solution? Is unimodular quantum gravity a viable solution? Does Lambda "run"? What are the experimental bounds on a time-dependent Lambda?)

Monday, October 22, 2012

Time

Event

Location

8:30 – 9:00am

Registration

Reception

9:00 – 9:15am

Opening Remarks

Bob Room

9:15 – 10:15am

Holger Mueller, University of California, Berkeley

Matter-wave clocks

Bob Room

10:15 – 10:35am

Coffee Break

Bistro – 1st Floor

10:35 – 11:10am

Tests of the equivalence principle

Chair / Discussion Leader:  Daniel Sudarsky

 

James Overduin, Towson University

Improved test of the Equivalence Principle

as a probe of quantum gravity

Bob Room

11:10 –12:25pm

quantum gravity effects in quantum mechanical systems

Chair / Discussion Leader:  Daniel Sudarsky

 

Alfio Bonanno, INAF

Can matter wave interferometry probe the

quantum foam of the spacetime?

Stefano Liberati, SISSA

An analogue model lesson for the cosmological constant

Lorenzo Sindoni,

Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics

The cosmological constant and the

emergence of the continuum

Bob Room

12:25 – 2:00pm

Lunch

Bistro – 2nd Floor
2:00 – 3:00pm

Is there a mesoscale in quantum gravity? 

Is it a non-locality scale?

Chair / Discussion Leader:  Stefano Liberati

 

Dionigi Benincasa, Imperial College, London

Bounding causal set non-locality

Laurent Freidel, Perimeter Institute

Probing the geometry of momentum space with

gamma ray burst delay

Bob Room

3:00 – 4:00pm

Julien Bolmont, Pierre and Marie Curie University

Lorentz Invariance Violation searches with HESS

Bob Room

4:00 – 4:30pm

Coffee Break

Bistro – 1st Floor

4:30 – 6:50pm

Photons and quantum gravity in astrophysics

Chair / Discussion Leader:  Niayesh Afshordi

 

Giovanni Amelino-Camelia, University of Rome

Implications of Planck-scale worldline fuzziness

for quasar images and GRBs

Alfio Bonanno, INAF

Asymptotically safe inflation and CMB polarization

Robert Brandenberger, McGill University

Cosmological windows such as CMB polarization and 21cm redshift surveys to probe Planck-scale physics

Joao Magueijo, Imperial College, London

Quantum gravity and a chiral signature in gravity waves

Robert Nemiroff, Michigan Technological University

A Possible Bound on Spectral Dispersion from

Fermi-Detected Gamma Ray Burst 090510A

Bob Room

 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Time

Event

Location

9:00 – 10:00am

Markus Risse, University of Siegen

The highest-energy particles of the Universe

 as viewed by the Pierre Auger Observatory

Bob Room

10:00 – 10:20am

Coffee Break

Bistro – 1st Floor

10:20 – 11:45am

Quantum gravity effects in the (early and late) universe

Chair / Discussion Leader :  Robert Brandenberger

 

Daniel Sudarsky,

Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico

Quantum Gravity at the origin of seeds of cosmic structure?

Stephon Alexander, Haverford College

Quantum Gravity, Inflation and Leptogenesis

Daniel Litim, University of Sussex

Quantum gravity and cosmology

Bob Room

11:45 – 12:00pm

Conference Photo

Atrium

12:00 – 2:00pm

Lunch

Bistro – 2nd Floor

2:00 – 3:00pm

John Kelley, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Searching for Quantum Gravity

with the IceCube Neutrino Observatory

Bob Room

3:00 – 3:30pm

Coffee Break

Bistro – 1st Floor

3:30 – 5:10pm

Quantum gravity effects in black holes

and gravitational waves

Chair / Discussion Leader:  Nicolas Yunes

 

Giovanni Amelino-Camelia, University of Rome

Quantum-gravity effects as noise for gravity-wave detectors

Avery Broderick, Perimeter Institute

Dancing in the Dark: Images of Quantum Black Holes

David Mattingly, University of New Hampshire

The Irritating Persistence of Horizons

Bob Room

5:10 – 7:00pm

Cosmological constant

Chair / Discussion Leader:  Stephon Alexander

 

Ivan Arraut, Osaka University

Dark Matter and Dark Energy as a possible

manifestation of a fundamental Scale

Maite Dupuis, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg

Geometric operators in loop quantum gravity

with a cosmological constant

Antonino Marciano, Dartmouth College

Interplay between cosmological constant and a DSR scale

Alejandro Satz, University of Maryland

Quantum Gravity RG  flow: a cosmological limit cycle

Bob Room

 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Time

Event

Location

9:00 – 11:05am

Is spacetime fundamentally discrete?

Chair / Discussion Leader:  Daniele Oriti

 

Bianca Dittrich, Perimeter Institute

Modelling continuum dynamics on discrete space time

Tobias Fritz, Perimeter Institute

Turning Weyl’s tile argument into a

mathematically rigorous no-go theorem

Seth Major, Hamilton College

On the Observability of Discrete Spatial Geometry

Roberto Percacci, SISSA

Asymptotic safety and minimal length

Bob Room

11:05 – 11:30am

Coffee Break

Bistro – 1st Floor

11:30 – 12:30pm

Dynamical dimensional reduction

Chair / Discussion Leader:  Astrid Eichhorn

 

Martin Reuter, University of Mainz

Dynamical dimensional reduction and Asymptotic Safety

Dejan Stojkovic, SUNY

Vanishing dimension: theory and phenomenology

Bob Room

12:30 – 2:00pm

Lunch

Bistro – 2nd Floor

2:00 – 3:00pm

Jonathan Granot, University of Hertfordshire

Colloquium:

Astrophysical Searches for Quantum Gravity Signals

Theater

3:00 – 3:30pm

Coffee Break

Bistro – 1st Floor

3:30 – 6:35pm

Lorentz symmetry: Broken, intact or deformed?

Chair / Discussion Leader:  David Mattingly

 

Niayesh Afshordi, Perimeter Institute

Is aether technically natural?

Rafael Sorkin, Perimeter Institute

If spacetime is a causal set then Lorentz symmetry is unbroken

Sabine Hossenfelder, Nordita

Quantum superpositions of the speed of light

Jurek Kowalski-Glikman, Institute for Theoretical Physics

Relative locality and fate of Lorentz symmetry

Stefano Liberati, SISSA

Observational constraints on scale hierarchy

in Horava-Lifshiftz gravity

Joao Magueijo, Imperial College, London

Breaking Lorentz invariance: the Universe loves it!

Daniel Sudarsky,

Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico Quantum Gravity Phenomenology without

Lorentz Invariance Violation

Bob Room

6:45pm

Banquet

Bistro – 1st Floor

 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Time

Event

Location

9:00 – 10:00am

Hugo Beauchemin, Tufts University

Experimental search for quantum gravity – the hard facts

Bob Room

10:00 – 10:20am

Coffee Break

Bistro – 1st Floor

10:20 – 12:35pm

Low-scale quantum gravity, qg at accelerators

Chair / Discussion Leader:  Dejan Stojkovic

 

Stephon Alexander, Haverford College

Quantum Gravity and the Weak Interactions

Xavier Calmet, University of Sussex

Non-thermal quantum black holes

Doug Gingrich, University of Alberta

Searches for Nonperturbative

Gravitational States at the LHC

Daniel Litim, University of Sussex

Models of new physics beyond the

Standard Model of Particle Physics

Lee Smolin, Perimeter Institute

Unification of gravity with the electroweak interactions

Bob Room

12:35 – 2:00pm

Lunch

Bistro - 2nd Floor

2:00 – 3:00pm

Antonio di Domenico, University of Rome

Experimental tests of CPT symmetry

Bob Room

3:00 – 4:40pm

Effective field theory framework in QG

Chair / Discussion Leader:  Roberto Percacci

 

Xavier Calmet, University of Sussex

Gravity Induced Grand Unification

Astrid Eichhorn, Perimeter Institute

Testing the consistency of quantum gravity with low-energy properties of the standard model

Martin Reuter, University of Mainz

The Asymptotic Safety program

Bob Room

4:40 – 5:10pm

Coffee Break

Bistro – 1st Floor

5:10pm

Final Discussion and Closing Remarks

Bob Room

 

Niayesh Afshordi, Perimeter Institute

Is aether technically natural?

I will discuss whether higher energy Lorentz violation should be considered a natural expectation in theories of quantum gravity with a preferred frame.

Stephon Alexander, Haverford College and Pennsylvania State University

Quantum Gravity, Inflation and Leptogenesis

Stephon Alexander, Haverford College and Pennsylvania State University

Quantum Gravity and the Weak Interactions

Ivan Arraut, Osaka University

Dark Matter and Dark Energy as a possible manifestations of a fundamental Scale

If we take the idea of the Planck length as a fundamental (minimum) scale and if additionally we impose the Cosmological Constant ($Lambda$) as and infrared (IR) cut-off parameter. Then it is possible to demonstrate that Dark Matter effects can emerge as a consequence of an IR-UV mix effect. This opens the possibility of unifying the Dark Energy and Dark matter effects in a single approach.

Hugo Beauchemin,Tufts University

LHC

The LHC has been running for over 2 years and the different experiments have accumulated enough data to find a new particle which could well be the Higgs boson, achieve Standard Model measurements with precision at the percent level, and seriously constrain a large variety of new physics scenarios, giving important hints on what the physics beyond the Standard Model can be and what it cannot be. This presentation will focus on ATLAS and CMS latest searches for new physics in events featuring signatures relevant to theories of quantum gravity. Will be presented the results on searches for large extra dimensions (direct graviton emission, virtual graviton propagation, Kaluza-Klein Randall-Sundrum resonances, etc.) and other TeV-scale gravity phenomena such as black holes (rotating and non-rotating) and string balls production and decay. Results will be reported on each of the various final states investigated for each signals. The results of some searches that are not typically interpreted into bounds on quantum gravity signals, but which could provide complementary information such as the number of possible matter fields compatible with LHC data will also be presented. An attempt to present plausible future reach of the LHC will finally be briefly discussed.

Julien Bolmont, Pierre and Marie Curie University

Lorentz Invariance Violation searches with HESS

The high flux and variability of the blazar PKS 2155-304 as observed by H.E.S.S. during the night of 28 July 2006 allowed a very high precision search for Quantum Gravity-induced energy-dependent time lags. In this talk, I will review the results published by the H.E.S.S. collaboration on this topic. In particular, I will emphasize the latest results obtained using a likelihood fit to study individual photon data. With this method and a proper error calibration procedure, a very high precision measurement was achieved leading to the best constraints on linear and quadratic terms of the dispersion relations obtained with an AGN so far.

Alfio Bonanno, INAF Catania Astrophysical Observatory

Can matter wave interferometry probe the quantum foam of the spacetime?

The possibility tht advanced matter wave interferometers may detect the vacuum structure of asyptotically safe gravity is discussed.

Alfio Bonanno, INAF Catania Astrophysical Observatory

Asymptotically safe inflation and CMB polarization

The presence of complex critical exponents in the scaling behavior of the Newton constant and Cosmological  constant has dramatic consequences at the inflation scale. In particular an infinite number of unstable de-Sitter vacua emerges from an effective quantum gravitational action. In this framework, the possibility of detecting specific signaturesof a non-gaussian fixed point of the gravitational interactions in the CMB polarization spectrum will then be discussed.

Robert Brandenberger, McGill University

Cosmological windows such as CMB polarization and 21cm redshift surveys to probe Planck-scale physics

Avery Broderick, Perimeter Institute

Dancing in the Dark: Images of Quantum Black Holes

There have recently been a number of rather surprising suggestions that the quantum nature of black holes is manifested on macroscopic scales.  This raises the question of just what the image of such an object should look like.  The answer is more than simply academic; with the advent of the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), a millimetre-wave very long baseline array, it is now possible to probe a handful of supermassive black holes with angular resolutions sufficient to image their horizons.  I will discuss what we might expect to see, and how in the near future we will begin to empirically probe the existence of black hole quantum states with horizon scale curvature deviations from general relativity.

Xavier Calmet, University of Sussex

Quantum black holes at the LHC

Xavier Calmet, University of Sussex

Quantum Gravity and Grand Unification

Antonio Di Domenico, University of Rome

Experimental tests of CPT symmetry

The three discrete symmetries of Quantum Mechanics, charge conjugation, parity, and time reversal, are all violated, singly or in pairs. CPT is the only combination of these symmetries which appears to be conserved in Nature.  Even though this result is in agreement with the well known CPT theorem, that holds for standard quantum field theories, CPT violation in some cases might be expected and justified in the framework of a quantum theory of gravity.  Here the last and more refined experimental searches for CPT violation effects will be reported with a special focus on the tests performed on neutral meson systems and the interplay between CPT symmetry and the basic principles of Quantum Mechanics.  No deviation from the expectations of CPT symmetry and quantum mechanics is observed, while the precision of the measurements, in some cases, reaches the interesting Planck scale region. Finally, prospects for this kind of experimental studies will be presented.

Astrid Eichhorn, Perimeter Institute

Testing the consistency of quantum gravity with low-energy properties of the standard model

Tobias Fritz, Perimeter Institute

Turning Weyl's tile argument into a mathematically rigorous no-go theorem

Weyl's tile argument notes that if space was fundamentally discrete then the set of allowed velocities of a classical particle would not be isotropic. I will generalize Weyl's heuristic argument to a no-go theorem applying to any discrete periodic structure. Since this theorem does not take quantum mechanics into account it should only be regarded as the first step of a program of understanding the phenomenology of discrete spacetimes in a mathematically rigorous way. See arXiv:1109.1963.

Doug Gingrich, Universityof Alberta

Searches for Nonperturbative Gravitational States at the LHC

Searches for black holes and string balls have recently be performed by LHC experiments.  Upper limits have been placed on the production crosssections time experimental acceptance.  Hard-disk production of thesestates have been ruled out over most of the current LHC energy reach.However the LHC has said little about nonperturbative states producedin model with reduced cross sections.  I will discuss some popularmodels that have not yet been ruled out by the LHC experiments.

Florian Girelli, University of Waterloo

Geometric operators in loop quantum gravity with a cosmological constant

Loop quantum gravity is a candidate to describe the quantum gravity regime with zero cosmological constant. One of its key results is that geometric operators such as area angle volume are quantized. Not much is known when the cosmological constant is not zero. It is usually believed that to introduce this parameter in the game we need to use quantum groups. However due to the complicated algebraic structure inherent to quantum groups the geometric operators are not yet properly defined (except the area operator). I will discuss how the use of tensor operators can circumvent the difficulties and allow to construct a natural set of observables. In particular I will construct the natural geometric observables such as angle or volume and discuss some of their implications.

Jonathan Granot, University of Hertfordshire

Astrophysical Searches for Quantum Gravity Signals

Some recent searches for quantum gravity signatures using observations of distant astrophysical sources will be discussed, focusing on the search for Lorentz invariance violation (LIV) in the form of a dependence of the photon propagation speed on its energy. Fermi gamma-ray space telescope observations of ~8 keV to ~30 GeV photons from a short (< 1 s) gamma-ray burst (GRB 090510) at a cosmological distance (z = 0.903), enabled for the first time to put a direct time of flight limit on a possible linear variation of the speed of light with photon energy that is beyond the Planck scale. Parameterizing |v/c-1| = E/E_{QG} our most conservative limits are E_{QG}/E_{Planck} > 1.2, while less conservative limits are up to 1-2 orders of magnitude stricter. Other types of astrophysical searches for LIV will be briefly outlined, along with some prospects for the future.

John Kelley, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Searching for Quantum Gravity with the IceCube Neutrino Observatory

The IceCube Neutrino Observatory is a cubic-kilometer-scale neutrino detector built into the ice sheet at the geographic South Pole.  Completed in December 2010, the detector consists of an array of photomultiplier tubes deployed along 86 cables ("strings") at depths of 1450 to 2450 m, as well as the IceTop air shower array of surface Cherenkov tanks.  IceCube is detecting atmospheric neutrinos of energies above approximately 100 GeV at a rate of ~6 per hour, and is currently searching for extraterrestrial neutrinos from cosmic ray accelerators.  A measurement of the atmospheric neutrino spectrum can be used to search for possible phenomenological signatures of quantum gravity (QG), such as violations of Lorentz invariance or quantum decoherence, and I present limits we have set on these phenomena in the neutrino sector.  To extend the search for QG to much higher energies and cosmological baselines, we require an extraterrestrial neutrino source.  In this context, I report on the status of our searches for neutrinos from gamma-ray bursts and from cosmic-ray interactions with the microwave background ("cosmogenic" neutrinos).

Jurek Kowalski-Glikman, Institute for Theoretical Physics

Relative locality and fate of Lorentz symmetry

In my talk I will briefly introduce the idea of relative locality, being a particular regime of quantum gravity characterized by negligible Planck length and finite Planck mass.  Then I will discuss possible scenarios concerning the fate of Lorentz symmetry in this regime.

Stefano Liberati, SISSA

An analogue model lesson for the cosmological constant

Analogue models of gravity have been a test field for many phenomena in quantum field theory on curved spacetimes.  It was recently recognized that in some situations they can also provide toy models of emergent gravity.  We shall review here such a model and address within it the nature and scale of the cosmological constrant trying to draw general lessons for emergent gravity scenarios.

Stefano Liberati, SISSA

Observational constraints on scale hierarchy in Horava-Lifshiftz gravity

Horava-Lifshitz gravity models contain higher order operators suppressed by a characteristic scale, which is required to be parametrically smaller than the Planck scale. We show that recomputed synchrotron radiation constraints from the Crab nebula suffice to exclude the possibility that this scale is of the same order of magnitude as the Lorentz breaking scale in the matter sector. This highlights the need for a mechanism that suppresses the percolation of Lorentz violation in the matter sector and is effective for higher order operators as well.

Daniel Litim, University of Sussex

Quantum gravity and cosmology

In the light of upcoming high-precision data from the Planck mission and possible trans-Planckian signatures encoded in eg the microwave background radiation, and in view of possible large-distance modifications of gravity and the accelearted expansion of the universe.

Daniel Litim, University of Sussex

New physics beyond the Standard Model of Particle Physics

Models of new physics beyond the Standard Model of Particle Physics suggest that the quantum scale of gravity could be as low as the electro-weak or TeV energy scale. If so, they offer the exciting possibility that quantum gravity becomes accessible, experimentally, at particle colliders such as the LHC. From the theory side, low-scale gravity scenarios often require extra dimensions, or a large number of additional particle species.  I propose to discuss the possibility for signatures of low-scale quantum gravity, the feasibility of concrete (quantitative) predictions based on eg. specific processes and quantum gravity set-ups, and options for experimental tests.

Seth Major, Hamilton College

On the Observability of Discrete Spatial Geometry

 If quantum geometry is an accurate model of microscopic spatial geometry then two related questions arise, one observational and one theoretical: How and at what scale is the discreteness manifest? And, how is the general relativistic limit achieved? These questions will be discussed in the context of studies of a single atom of geometry. It will be shown that the effective scale of the discreteness could be much larger than the Planck scale. Before this scale can be predicted, the relations between discrete geometry, coherent states, and the semiclassical limit need to be clarified. Work towards this goal, using coherent states in spin foams and the spin geometry theorem of Penrose and Moussouris will be described.

Joao Magueijo, Imperial College, London

Deformed dispersion relations, soccer balls and high-intensity lasers

I review a framework for discussing deformed dispersion relations: non-linear relativity.  I show how an implementation of the framework within effective field theory leads to the conclusion that quantum gravity could be tested with high intensity lasers.

Joao Magueijo, Imperial College, London

Quantum gravity and a chiral signature in gravity waves

I show how quantum gravity could lead to a chiral signature in the graviational wave background, proportional to the imaginary part of the Immirzi parameter.  This would leave a distinctive imprint in the polarization of the cosmic microwave background.  I will discuss how this isue is closely related to that of identifying the ground of base state for quantum gravity.

Joao Magueijo, Imperial College, London

Breaking Lorentz invariance: the Universe loves it!

I show how the local Lorentz and / or diffeomorphism invariances may be broken by a varying speed of light, softly or harshly, depending on taste.  Regardless of the fundamental implications of such dramas, these smmetry breakings may be of great practical use in cosmology.  They may solve the horizon and flatness problesm.  A near scale-invariant sprectrum of fluctuation may arise, even without inflation.  Distinct observational imprints may be left.

David Matthingly, University of New Hampshire

The Irritating Persistence of Horizons

In some approaches to quantum gravity Lorentz invariance is modified. Without Lorentz invariance one can theoretically see behind the usual Killing horizon of a black hole if, for example, one allowed for superluminal propagation. This in turn raises the possibility that one could in principle probe the singularity and the quantum gravity regime. We discuss how Lorentz violating black hole solutions in Einstein-aether theory unfortunately possess another causal boundary behind the Killing horizon that is impenetrable to any superluminal mode. We also detail progress in determining the laws of black hole mechanics and the radiation spectrum from these so-called "universal horizons". Our results suggest that even if superluminal dispersion at high frequencies did exist in nature, singularities and their associated quantum gravity resolutions may very well remain locked behind horizons.

Holger Mueller, University of California, Berkeley

Matter-wave clocks

De Broglie's matter wave hypothesis describes particles as oscillators at the Compton frequency $mc^2/h$, where m is the particle's mass, c is the speed of light, and h the Planck constant [1]. The concept continues to be in full use in the generalized form of the path integral, but the oscillations themselves have often been disregarded as artifacts of the theory. Here, we illustrate their physical significance through a series of atom-interferometry experiments: (i) A test of the gravitational redshift at an accuracy of 7 parts per billion [2] and its interpretation in the framework of the standard model extension [3]; (ii) A proposed gravitational Aharonov-Bohm experiment, which will reveal the gravitational redshift of the Compton frequency even in absence of a gravitational force [4]; (iii) A matter-wave clock, in which the Compton frequency of a Cs atom $ (3x10^{25} Hz)$ is divided into a conveniently measurable frequency range, based on a combination of an atom interferometer and an optical frequency comb. With an accuracy of 4 parts per billion, it can serve as a time standard based on mass or vice versa [5]. Particles are Compton clocks.

[1] L. de Broglie, Ph. D. thesis (Univ. Paris, 1924).

[2] H. M\"uller, A. Peters, and S. Chu. Nature 463, 926 (2010).

[3] M. A. Hohensee, S. Chu, A. Peters, and H. M\"uller, Phys. Rev. Lett. 106, 151102 (2011).

[4] M. A. Hohensee, B. Estey, P. Hamilton, A. Zeilinger, and H. M\"uller. Phys. Rev. Lett. 108, 230404 (2012).

[5] S.-Y. Lan, P.-C. Kuan, B. Estey, D. English, J. M. Brown, M. A. Hohensee, and H. M\"uller, submitted (2012).

Robert Nemiroff, Michigan Technological University

A Possible Bound on Spectral Dispersion from Fermi-Detected Gamma Ray Burst 090510A

Three photons spanning about 30 GeV arrived within about one millisecond from the Fermi-detected GRB 090510A at a redshift of about 0.9. Although conceivably a > 3σ statistical fluctuation when taken at face value this photon bunch -- quite possibly a classic GRB pulse -- leads to a relatively tight bound on the ability of our universe to disperse high energy photons. Specifically given a generic dispersion relation where the time delay is proportional to the photon energy to the first power the limit on the dispersion strength is k1 < 1.61×10-5 sec Gpc-1 GeV-1. In the context of some theories of quantum gravity this conservative bound translates into an minimum energy scale greater than 525 m_Planck suggesting that spacetime is smooth at energies perhaps three orders of magnitude over the Planck mass.

James Overduin, Towson University

Improved test of the Equivalence Principle as a probe of quantum gravity

Current approaches to the problems of dark energy and unification generically predict the existence of new fields (quintessence dilatons etc.) that will in principle couple with different strengths to different standard-model fields. These different coupling strengths will cause test materials of different compositions to fall at different rates in the same gravitational field violating the Equivalence Principle the foundation of General Relativity. A sufficiently sensitive measurement of the relative accelerations of different test bodies in orbit around the earth could detect or rule out these new fields complementing existing or proposed experiments in high-energy physics (colliders) and observational cosmology (space telescopes). To do this convincingly such an experiment needs at least three test materials spanning the largest possible volume in the space of atomic and molecular properties and a sensitivity to EP violations of as little as a part in $10^{18}$ (attainable only in space and at low temperatures). I discuss one such experiment the Satellite Test of the Equivalence Principle which has reached an advanced stage of prototype development and is currently awaiting a path toward a flight program.

Roberto Percacci, SISSA

Asymptotic safety and minimal length

Since asymptotic safety - if true - would make a quantum field theory of gavity consistent "up to arbitrarily high energy", it would seem that this notion is incompatible with the existence of a minimal length.  I will argue that this is not necessarily the case, due to ambiguity in the notion of minimal length.

Roberto Percacci, SISSA

Functional renormalization and gravity

I discuss the role of the functional renormalization group as a tool for computing quantum gravitational effects.

Martin Reuter, University of Mainz

Dynamical dimensional reduction and Asymptotic Safety

The effective average action approach to Quantum Einstein Gravity (QEG) is discussed as a natural framework for exploring the scale dependent Riemannian geometry and multifractal micro-structure of the effective spacetimes predicted by QEG. Their fractal properties are related to the functional RG flow on theory space, and the special role of the running cosmological constant is emphasized. The prospects of an experimental verification will also be discussed.

Martin Reuter, University of Mainz

The Asymptotic Safety program

The essential components of the Asymptotic Safety program are discussed as an effort which ultimately can lead to a well defined functional integral for a microscopic quantum field theory of gravity. Continuum based exact RG methods and statistical field theory approaches are compared, and it is argued that, at an intermediate stage, numerical simulations must play a role analogous to that of real experiments.

Markus Risse, University of Siegen

The highest-energy particles of the Universe as viewed by the Pierre Auger Observatory

One century after the seminal balloon flights of Victor Hess, the Pierre Auger Observatory aims at unveiling some of the mysteries of the highest-energy cosmic rays: what are their sources? Is there an end to the spectrum? What kind of particles are they? Are there signatures of new physics or of a violation of fundamental laws of physics?  The Auger Observatory measures cosmic rays with energies of 10^20 eV or more by observing the giant air showers created when the particles hit the atmosphere. Located in Argentina, two complementary detector systems are used: an array of 1600 water-Cherenkov detectors distributed over  3000 sqkm, and fluorescence telescopes which monitor the atmosphere above the array in clear nights. Since 2005, data of unprecedented quantity and quality could be taken. In the talk, the observation principles, successes and limitations are described. Current, partly surprising results are presented. Data interpretations related to the search for violation of Lorentz invariance are mentioned.

Alejandro Satz, University of Maryland

Quantum Gravity RG flow: a cosmological limit cycle

I will discuss evidence for the existence of a limit cycle in the renormalization group for quantum gravity which is visible in a minisuperspace approximation. The emergence of the limit cycle can be studied through a tuning parameter representing the number of dimensions in which fluctuations of the conformal factor are suppressed. At the critical value of the tuning parameter all RG trajectories reaching the UV fixed point have an extended semiclassical regime with a small positive cosmological constant providing a possible model for a viable cosmology without fine-tuning.

Lorenzo Sindoni, Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics

The cosmological constant and the emergence of the continuum

Naturalness problems that could be signaling the necessity a completion of an effective field theory with the introduction of an otherwise overlooked ingredient. The cosmological constant problem can be seen as a signal that the EFT for gravity, general relativity, is not correctly including the gravitational properties of the vacuum. Starting from the discussion of the a possible solution to this naturalness problem for a cc-like term in a BEC analogue model, I will briefly discuss how this particular mechanism can be extended, albeit in a preliminary form, to more genuine quantum gravity models like GFT, connecting in particular the problem of the determination of the gravitational couplings (and hence the hierarchies involved) to the appearance of a semiclassical space-time.

Dejan Stojkovic, SUNY

Vanishing dimensions: theory and phenomenology

Lower-dimensionality at higher energies has manifold theoretical advantages as recently pointed out. Moreover, it appears that experimental evidence may already exists for it - a statistically significant planar alignment of events with energies higher than TeV has been observed in some earlier cosmic ray experiments. If this alignment is not a fluke, then the LHC should be able to see effects associated with the dimensional crossover. Further, (2+1)-dimensional spacetimes have no gravitational degrees of freedom, and gravity waves cannot be produced in that epoch in the early universe. This places a universal maximum frequency at which primordial gravity waves can propagate, which may be accessible to future gravitational wave detectors such as LISA. In this talk, the theoretical motivation for "vanishing dimensions" as well as generic experimental and observational signature will be discussed.

Daniel Surdarsky, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico

Quantum Gravity at the origin of seeds of cosmic structure?

This meeting shows a our impatience for uncovering at long last any signal of unknown physics that might have a quantum gravitational origin. I will argue that the transition from a homogenous and isotropic state characterizing the mid-early parts of inflation ( i.e. the regime after sufficient e- folds of inflation have elapsed so that all traces of the pre-inflationary state are erased), to those eras, where the primordial inhomogeneities have appears might hold ins testing clues about the nature of quantum gravity.

Daniel Surdarsky, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico

Quantum Gravity Phenomenology without Lorentz Invariance Violation

Is there hope to see quantum gravity effects if the underlying theory is strictly respecting of Lorentz invariance?  I will discuss a novel class of possibilities, suggested by analogy with some simple solid state physics, including one that has lead to an actual experiment, which has placed the first relevant constraints on these kind of effects.

 

* Guest Speakers: Ground transportation arrangements will be made on your behalf and instructions sent prior to your arrival.

If you need transportation while attending the conference, we offer suggestions below. If flying, we suggest that you book your flight to arrive at Toronto International Airport (YYZ) or the Region of Waterloo International Airport (YKF).


FiveStar Limousine (estimated travel time 1hr)

 

  1. To arrange limousine service, please call toll free 1-866-578-8005 or send your request by email to info@myfivestarlimo.com.
  2. Please contact FiveStar Limousine for their rates and availability.
  3. For arrivals at Terminal 1, please depart to the arrivals curb and go to post B and see the commissioner. Tell the commissioner your last name and that you are to be picked up by FiveStar Limousine.
  4. For arrivals at Terminal 3, depart to the arrivals curb and go to post #29 and see the commissioner. Tell the commissioner your last name and that you are to be picked up by FiveStar Limousine. 
  5. If there are any problems, or you are experiencing a delay at Canadian Customs, please call FiveStar directly at 1-866-578-8005.

Airways Transit (estimated travel time 1hr)
The fare for Airways Transit for one passenger is $83.00 (one-way). To make reservations, please visit their website or call 519-886-2121.

 

  1. For arrival information at Pearson International Airport, please click here.

0001 Toronto Cabs (estimate travel time 1hr)
Fixed $190.00 rate for one-way: Toronto International Airport to Waterloo. Call 416-809-5656.

 

Waterloo Taxi (estimated travel time 1hr)
Fixed $76.50 rate for one-way: Waterloo to Toronto International Airport. Call 519-886-1200.
Note: One or more passengers can split this $90.00 flat rate.


Car Rentals
Upon arrival in any of the terminals at Pearson International Airport there are a number of car rental agencies to choose from. Their booths are located on the arrivals level. The cost of a car rental is dependent upon the type of vehicle you would like and the length of the stay.

Driving Directions
- From the airport, follow signs for Highway 427 South/Highway 401. 
- Continue to follow signs for Highway 401 West - London. 
- Proceed West on Highway 401. 
- Exit Highway 401 at Highway 8 West. 
- Take exit 278 (Highway 8 West) and follow 8 West for 5 km to Highway 85, towards Highway 7 East.
- Proceed on Highway 85 for 5 km to Bridgeport Road exit. Turn right at the off-ramp, traveling west. 
- Follow Bridgeport Road for 2 km into downtown Waterloo. 
- Bridgeport is a four-lane one-way road. It becomes Caroline Street at Albert Street. Continue straight ahead. 
- Travel forward another 200 metres, but ease over into the right-hand lane. As you go down a hill and around a curve, look for the green Perimeter Institute sign on the right hand side. The parking lot entrance is just after the sign (past the historic grist mill that sits on the edge of Silver Lake). 
- Turn right into the PI parking lot entrance.

If you are planning on driving to PI, please arrive 20 minutes early to allow time for you to obtain a short-term parking pass from reception and to park your car in the appropriate lot. This short-term pass will allow you to park for the duration of the conference at the Bauer Parking lot on Father David Bauer Drive across the street from the Waterloo Recreation Complex.

 

* Guest Speakers: Accommodation arrangements will be made on your behalf and instructions sent prior to your arrival.

If you need accommodations while attending the conference, we offer suggestions for lodging below.

Waterloo Hotel
2 King Street North
Waterloo, ON N2J 2W7
Phone: 519-885-2626
Distance from PI: 400 m

Waterloo Inn
475 King Street North
Waterloo, ON N2J 2Z5
Reservation line: 1-800-361-4708
Reservation e-mail: reserve@waterlooinn.com
Distance from PI: 3 km

Walper Terrace Hotel
1 King Street West
Kitchener, ON N2G 1A1
Phone: 519-745-4321
Distance from PI: 4 km

Best Western St Jacobs Country Inn
50 Benjamin Road East
St. Jacobs, ON N2V 2J9
Phone: 519-884-9295
Distance from PI: 5.6 km