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.
In this talk I will discuss some of the consequences for our understanding of strong-field gravity that can be gleaned from the recent detection of gravitational waves by the LIGO/Virgo collaboration.
The first detection of gravitational waves came with an unexpected windfall: a clear signal from the merger of two black holes into a final, spinning black hole. General Relativity predicts that following merger, the final black hole relaxes by emitting radiation in a characteristic spectrum of decaying modes. I will discuss these ``quasinormal modes'' and what can be learned from them, as well as the black hole ringdown observed in GW150914.
Dynamics in asymptotically anti-de Sitter spacetimes with reflecting boundary conditions are characterized by reduced dissipation as compared to asymptotically flat spacetimes. Such spacetimes, thus, represent opportunities to study nonlinear gravitational interactions that would otherwise be quickly damped away. I will discuss two background spacetimes---large AdS black branes in d=4, and pure AdS---where small perturbations display turbulent behavior and energy cascades driven by nonlinear interactions.
I will present a novel method for probing extremely weak large-scale magnetic fields in the intergalactic medium prior to the epoch of reionization. This method relies on the effect of spin alignment of hydrogen atoms in a cosmological setting, and on the effect of magnetic precession of the atoms on the statistics of the 21–cm brightness–temperature fluctuations.
In homogeneous and isotropic Friedmann-Robertson-Walker cosmology, the topology of the universe determines its ultimate fate. If the Weak Energy Condition is satisfied, open and flat universes must expand forever, while closed cosmologies can recollapse to a Big Crunch. A similar statement holds for homogeneous but anisotropic (Bianchi) universes.
Most physicists take it for granted that the experimental violation of Bell's inequality provides evidence that it is not possible to completely describe the state of a physical system in terms of purely local information when this system is entangled with some other system. We disagree. Provided we redefine appropriately what is the information-theoretic state of a quantum system, it becomes possible to recover the whole from the description of its parts.
Tensor networks have been very successful for approximating quantum states that would otherwise require exponentially many parameters.
I will discuss how a similar compression can be achieved in models used to machine learn data, such as sets of images, by representing the fitting parameters as a tensor network. The resulting model achieves state-of-the-art performance on standard classification tasks. I will discuss implications for machine learning research, exploring which insights from physics could be imported into this field.
Why was the early universe classical? Along with the big bang singularity problem and the flatness, horizon and inhomogeneity puzzles, this is one of the big unexplained features of the hot big bang scenario. In this talk I will discuss how inflation and ekpyrosis, which have mainly been considered as models that can address some of the other puzzles, can both drive the early universe towards classicality. The remarkable aspect is that classicality is achieved via the intrinsic dynamics of inflation and ekpyrosis, without invoking decoherence.