This series consists of talks in the area of Quantum Gravity.
We present a new description of discrete space-time in 1+1 dimensions in terms of a set of elementary geometrical units that represent its independent classical degrees of freedom. This is achieved by means of a binary encoding that is ergodic in the class of space-time manifolds respecting coordinate invariance of general relativity. Space-time fluctuations can be represented in a classical lattice gas model whose Boltzmann weights are constructed with the discretized form of the Einstein-Hilbert action.
A renormalization group transformation implements a scale transformation while resetting the UV cut-off, so that the theories before and after the RG transformation contain the same degrees of freedom, but with a modified action. In Wilson's original proposal, the cut-off is reset by integrating out the degrees of freedom between the old and new cut-off. In recent years we have learned that, alternatively, one can decouple these degrees of freedom by means of local unitary transformations (disentanglers).
We study a contracting universe composed of cold dark matter and radiation, and with a positive cosmological constant. Assuming that loop quantum cosmology captures the correct high-curvature dynamics of the space-time, we calculate the spectrum of scalar and tensor perturbations after the bounce, assuming initial quantum vacuum fluctuations.
Instead of formulating the state space of a quantum field theory over a single big Hilbert space, it has been proposed by Jerzy Kijowski to describe quantum states as projective families of density matrices over a collection of smaller, simpler Hilbert spaces. I will discuss the physical motivations for this approach and explain how it can be implemented in the context of LQG. While the resulting state space forms a natural extension of the Ashtekar-Lewandowski Hilbert space, it treats position and momentum variables on equal footing.
I offer a personal perspective on the causal dynamical triangulations approach to the construction of quantum theories of gravity. After briefly introducing the approach's formalism and results, I illuminate this perspective with 3+1 vignettes of recent and ongoing research.
A quantum isolated horizon can be modeled by an SU(2) Chern-Simons theory on a punctured 2-sphere. We show how a local 2-dimensional conformal symmetry arises at each puncture inducing an infinite set of new observables localized at the horizon which satisfy a Kac-Moody algebra. By means of the isolated horizon boundary conditions, we represent the gravitational fluxes degrees of freedom in terms of the zero modes of the Kac-Moody algebra defined on the boundary of a punctured disk. In this way, our construction encodes a precise notion of CFT/gravity correspondence.
We will discuss our work on (1) the global food crisis and the implications for how we can address hunger and social unrest around the world, (2) the financial crisis and the implications for the role of regulation in economic market stability, and (3) the Ebola epidemic and the vulnerability of global civilization to pandemics.