Since 2002 Perimeter Institute has been recording seminars, conference talks, and public outreach events using video cameras installed in our lecture theatres. Perimeter now has 7 formal presentation spaces for its many scientific conferences, seminars, workshops and educational outreach activities, all with advanced audio-visual technical capabilities. Recordings of events in these areas are all available On-Demand from this Video Library and on Perimeter Institute Recorded Seminar Archive (PIRSA). PIRSA is a permanent, free, searchable, and citable archive of recorded seminars from relevant bodies in physics. This resource has been partially modelled after Cornell University's arXiv.org.
Einstein's theory of General Relativity has taught us that empty space (or, more precisely, spacetime) is in itself a dynamical and wonderfully rich entity for both theoretical physicists and science fiction authors alike. Although it may stretch our imagination, astrophysical observations leave little doubt that spacetime can bend, move and vibrate. If we want to explain these phenomena from an underlying microscopic and more fundamental structure, we need to bring in quantum theory, leading to even more exotic possibilities such as spacetime foam and wormholes.
I will describe a very special (infinite-parameter) family of gravity theories that all describe, exactly like General Relativity, just two propagating degrees of freedom. The theories are obtained by generalizing Plebanski's self-dual (chiral) formulation of GR. I will argue that this class of gravity theories provides a potentially powerful new framework for testing the asymptotic safety conjecture in quantum gravity.
Non-relativistic quantum mechanics is derived as an example of entropic inference. The basic assumption is that the position of a particle is subject to an irreducible uncertainty of unspecified origin. The corresponding probability distributions constitute a curved statistical manifold. The probability for infinitesimally small changes is obtained from the method of maximum entropy and the concept of time is introduced as a book-keeping device to keep track of how they accumulate. This requires introducing appropriate notions of instant and of duration.
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The seminar is devoted to the solution of the AdS/CFT spectral problem, both for infinite and finite volume cases, using integrability. The basic constructions will be explained using an analogy with the relativistic O(4) sigma model. We devote a special attention to the study of the so called dressing factor. This is a scalar factor of the scattering matrix fixed using discrete crossing symmetry.
Dark matter, constituting a fifth of the mass-energy in the Universe today, is one of the major "known unknowns" in physics. A number of different experimental and observational techniques exist to try to identify dark matter. However, these techniques are not only sensitive to the "physics" of dark matter (mass, cross sections, and the theory in which the dark matter particles live) but to the "astrophysics" of dark matter as well, namely the phase-space density of dark matter throughout the Milky Way and other galaxies and its evolution through cosmic time.
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The statistics of strong lensing by galaxy clusters are sensitive both to cosmology and the detailed physics that determines the structure of halos. To exploit these sensitivites requires large and well defined samples of lenses on these mass scales. I will report on efforts to provide such samples - we finally now have uniformly selected samples of several hundred lenses to work with.