Colloquium

This series covers all areas of research at Perimeter Institute, as well as those outside of PI's scope.

Seminar Series Events/Videos

Currently there are no upcoming talks in this series.

 

Wednesday Sep 06, 2006
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I will first argue that the notion of black hole entropy extends universally to causal horizons. Then I will deduce the causal dynamics of spacetime from the equilibrium thermodynamics of causal horizons. Specifically, it will be shown how the Clausius relation dS = dQ/T between entropy change, energy flux, and acceleration temperature for all local causal horizons implies the Einstein equation, with Newton's constant determined by the universal horizon entropy density. Implications, non-equilibrium processes, and relations to AdS/CFT duality will also be discussed.

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Wednesday Aug 02, 2006
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How should we think about quantum computing? The usual answer to this question is based on ideas inspired by computer science, such as qubits, quantum gates, and quantum circuits. In this talk I will explain an alternate geometric approach to quantum computation. In the geometric approach, an optimal quantum computation corresponds to "free falling" along the minimal geodesics of a certain Riemannian manifold.

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Wednesday Jun 28, 2006
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Not only general relativity but also quantum theory plays important roles in current cosmology. Quantum fluctuations of matter fields are supposed to have provided the initial seeds of all the structure of the current universe, and quantum gravity is assumed to have been essential in the earliest stages. Both issues are not fully understood, although several heuristic effects have been discussed. In this talk, implications of an effective framework taking into account the coupling of matter and gravity are discussed.

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Wednesday Jun 14, 2006
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At low energy and small curvature, general relativity has the form of an effective field theory. I will describe the structure of the effective field theory, and show how it can be used to calculate low energy quantum effects.

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Wednesday May 31, 2006
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Category theory is a general language for describing things and processes - called "objects" and "morphisms". In this language, many counterintuitive features of quantum theory turn out to be properties shared by the category of Hilbert spaces and the category of cobordisms, in which objects are choices of "space" and emorphisms are choices of "spacetime". This striking fact suggests that "n-categories with duals" are a promising language for a quantum theory of spacetime.

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Wednesday May 17, 2006
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Nanostructured materials continue to be the focus of intense research due to their promise of innumerable practical applications as well as advancing the fundamental understanding of these intriguing materials. From physics, to chemistry, to biology, to computer science, across the engineering disciplines and into the imagination of the general event, nanotechnology has become an extremely popular buzzword that represents both hope and hype to many people.

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Wednesday May 10, 2006
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A variety of physical phenomena involve multiple length and time scales. Some interesting examples of multiple-scale phenomena are: (a) the mechanical behavior of crystals and in particular the interplay of chemistry and mechanical stress in determining the macroscopic brittle or ductile response of solids; (b) the molecular-scale forces at interfaces and their effect in macroscopic phenomena like wetting and friction; (c) the alteration of the structure and electronic properties of macromolecular systems due to external forces, as in stretched DNA nanowires or carbon nanotubes.

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Wednesday Apr 26, 2006
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I will describe some recent advances in the simulation of binary black hole spacetimes using a numerical scheme based on generalized harmonic coordinates. After a brief overview of the formalism and method, I will present results from the evolution of a couple of classes of initial data, including Cook-Pfieffer quasi-circular inspiral data sets, and binaries constructed via scalar field collapse. In the latter case, preliminary studies suggest that in certain regions of parameter space there is extreme sensitivity of the resulting orbit to the initial conditions.

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Wednesday Apr 19, 2006
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Familiar textbook quantum mechanics assumes a fixed background spacetime to define states on spacelike surfaces and their unitary evolution between them. Quantum theory has been generalized as our conceptions of space and time have evolved. But quantum mechanics needs to be generalized further for quantum gravity where spacetime geometry is fluctuating and without definite value. This talk will review a fully four-dimensional, sum-over-histories, generalized quantum mechanics of cosmological spacetime geometry.

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