This series consists of talks in areas where gravity is the main driver behind interesting or peculiar phenomena, from astrophysics to gravity in higher dimensions.
Horava's proposal to use Lifshitz propagators for gravitons above certain energy scales may provide a viable theory of quantum gravity without further need of UV completion. In my talk, I will address the question of whether the complete lack of Lorentz invariance above a certain energy scale is a big problem for any realistic construction. I will argue that it is not, provided that the onset of Lifshitz scaling for gravitons occurs at momentum scale much lower than the Planck mass.
The equation of state of matter at and above nuclear densities remains a major theoretically uncertain prediction of QCD. Observations of the mass-radius relationship of neutron stars constrain, and can directly measure, the dense matter equation of state. I will discuss how measurements of neutron star radii have already constrained the dEOS, and how future work will directly measure the dEOS, providing an important constraint on models of the strong force.
The motivation of this seminar is to understand the thermalisation of heavy ion collisions using AdS/CFT. These collisions can be modelled as colliding planar gravitational shock waves. This gives rise to rich and interesting dynamics; wide shocks come to a full stop and expand hydrodynamically, as was previously found by Chesler and Yaffe. High energy collisions (corresponding to thin shocks) pass through each other, after which a plasma forms in the middle, within a proper time 1/T, with T the local temperature at that time.
There exist evidences that magnetic field in
the vicinity of astrophysical black holes plays an important role. In
particular it is required for explanation of such phenomenon as jet formation.
Study of such problems in all their complexity requires 3D numerical
simulations of the magnetohydrodynamics in a strong gravitational field. Quite
often when dealing with such a complicated problem it is instructive to
consider first its simplifications, which can be treated either analytically,
The modelling of gravitational wave sources is of timely interest given the exciting prospect of a first detection of gravitational waves by the new generation of detectors. The motion of a small compact object around a massive black hole deviates from a geodesic due to the action of its own field, giving rise to a self-force and the emission of gravitational waves. The self-force program has recently achieved important results using well-established methods.
In many theories with fundamental preferred frame, such as Einstein-Aether or Gravitational Aether theories, K-essence, Cuscuton theory, Shape Dynamics, or (non-projectable) Horava-Lifshitz gravity, the low energy theory contains a fluid with superluminal or incompressible excitations. In this talk, I study the formation of black holes in the presence of such a fluid. In particular, I focus on the incompressible limit of the fluid (or Constant Mean Curvature foliation) in the space-time of a spherically collapsing shell within an asymptotically cosmological space-time.
Hydrodynamics of relativistic plasmas received,
within the last 10 years, a lot of attention. The reason for it, on one hand,
is the quest for theoretical understanding of the quark-gluon plasma created in
heavy ion collisions and, on the other, advances in holographic duality and
black hole physics in anti-de Sitter spacetimes. I will describe recent
progress in answering foundational issues in hydrodynamics of strongly coupled
systems, i.e. questions about its applicability and the character of
will review recent work in two very different topics. First, I will discuss the
quasinormal mode spectrum of nearly extremal Kerr black holes, where a
bifurcation of the frequency spectrum is observed. In addition, collective
oscillations of many modes is possible, resulting in a power-law rather than
exponentially decaying ringdown. Next, I will discuss a recent proposal for how
tidally induced, multimode coupling of normal modes in neutron stars can
destabilize the stars. Such an instability could hamper gravitational wave
Pulsars have enormous magnetic fields whose energy density
dwarfs the rest mass density of their plasma magnetosphere. In this
regime of a plasma, the particles drop out of the description, leaving a set of
equations for the electromagnetic field alone. This non-linear,
deterministic system is known as force-free electrodynamics, and turns out to
have some beautiful and bizarre features. I will give a pedagogical
introduction to these equations and their role in astrophysics and then discuss