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.
an overview of the basic features of Horava gravity, I will focus on the latest developments and argue that, at least for the most general and complete version of the theory, the infrared phenomenology is by now relatively well understood and pathologies have been tamed. This implies that time has come for the theory to face a new series of intriguing challenges, related to quantization, ultraviolet phenomenology, black holes and singularities etc. I will present some ideas and first results in some of these directions.
I review the uses of effective field theory (EFT) techniques, originally developed in particle physics, to study gravitational dynamics. I will focus on the EFT approach to gravitational wave (GW) radiation, aka NRGR, and show how it has succeeded in producing the most accurate description of spinning binary systems to date, opening the door to a new era of precise astrophysical & cosmological measurements and tests of General Relativity via GW interferometry. I will also briefly discuss EFT applications for black hole dissipation/absorption, inflationary dynamics
Cosmological N-body simulations are now being performed using Newtonian gravity on scales larger than the Hubble radius. It is well known that a uniformly expanding, homogeneous ball of dust in Newtonian gravity satisfies the same equations as arise in relativistic FLRW cosmology, and it also is known that a correspondence between Newtonian and relativistic dust cosmologies continues to hold in linearized perturbation theory in the marginally bound/spatially flat case.
After overviewing the fundamentals of magnetized relativistic jets production, I present the results of new global 3D general relativistic magnetohydrodynamic simulations of jet formation by black hole (BH) accretion systems. The simulations are designed to transport a large amount of magnetic flux to the center, more than the accreting gas can force into the BH. The excess magnetic flux remains outside the BH, impedes accretion, and leads to a magnetically arrested disc. We find powerful outflows.
Violation of unitarity in black hole evaporation has been puzzling physicist since the seminal work of Hawking in the seventies. Although there are hopes for a resolution of the problem in a full theory of quantum gravity, it has eluded us so far. Even less ambitious efforts considering only quantum corrections beyond the external field approximation have proven hard to attack in 4 dimensions. All these obstacles directed researchers to investigate the black hole evaporation problem in simpler 2-dimensional models.
The development of virial mass estimates for the central black hole using one quasar spectrum has allowed a dramatic improvement in our understanding of supermassive black hole evolution. I will describe several new puzzles arising from the combination of virial masses with luminosity and redshift measurements, many of which are inconsistent with our current understanding of quasar evolution. I will also describe a new class of quasars that does not appear to fit easily into current models for quasar accretion.
In inflationary theories, single field models are typically considered subject to slow-roll conditions. In this talk I will present current observational constraints on deviations from slow-roll, e.g. bounds coming from strong coupling considerations, scale-dependent non-Gaussianities and the tensor-to-scalar ratio. These constraints still allow significant violations of slow-roll conditions. Focusing on non-Gaussian signals, I will discuss a variety of intriguing observable signatures that can be found for fast-rolling single fields.
Bizon and Rostworowski have recently suggested that anti-de Sitter spacetime might be nonlinearly unstable to transfering energy to smaller and smaller scales and eventually forming a small black hole. We consider pure gravity with a negative cosmological constant and find strong support for this idea. While one can start with a single linearized mode and add higher order corrections to construct a nonlinear geon, this is not possible starting with a linear combination of two or more modes. One is forced to add higher frequency modes with growing amplitude.