This series consists of talks in the area of Quantum Gravity.
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.
I will review recent work on tensorial group field theories (TGFTs). The renormalization methods being developed in this context provide more and more control over their field-theoretic structures, and for models which increasingly resemble loop quantum gravity. Perhaps surprisingly, some of these models are asymptotically free and can therefore be made sense of at arbitrary values of the (abstract) scale with respect to which they are organized. They define in this sense UV complete quantum field theories.
It is by now well established that black holes emit a thermal radiation and undergo an evaporation process. The original Hawking evaporation scenario, based on quantum fields on a classical background geometry, has been vastly extended and improved, in order to take into account in particular the backreaction of the radiation on the geometry. This can be done for example in a semiclassical setup, where the Einstein equations are sourced by an effective stress energy tensor.
I present a proposal for a worldline action for discretized gravity with the same field content as loop quantum gravity. The proposal is defined through its action, which is a one-dimensional integral over the edges of the discretization. Every edge carries a finite-dimensional phase space, and the evolution equations are generated by a Hamiltonian, which is a sum over the constraints of the theory.