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Why matter matters in quantum gravity

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I will argue that a fundamental theory of quantum gravity that is applicable to our universe must include matter degrees of freedom. In my talk I will focus on the option that these are fundamental, in contrast to low-energy effective, degrees of freedom, and must thus be included in the microscopic dynamics of spacetime.
I will present evidence that dynamical Standard Model matter is compatible with asymptotically safe quantum gravity, while several "Beyond Standard Model" scenarios are disfavored. I will also discuss how the coupling to matter opens a window into the observational quantum gravity regime.