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 discuss the effects of nonlinear backreaction of small scale density inhomogeneities in general relativistic cosmology. It has been proposed that in an inhomogeneous universe, nonlinear terms in the Einstein equation could, if properly averaged and taken into account, affect the large scale Friedmannian evolution of the universe. In particular, it was hoped that these terms might mimic a cosmological constant and eliminate the need for dark energy. After reviewing some of these approaches, and some of their flaws, I will describe a perturbative framework (developed with R.
In any quantum field theory, the energy flux at a point of spacetime can be negative. This would produce a repulsive gravitational field causing nearby light rays to defocus. This in turn threatens to produce a variety of exotic phenomena including traversable wormholes, warp drives, time machines, and evasion of singularity theorems. I will describe a new "quantum focusing conjecture" that prevents such pathologies. In the flat spacetime limit it reduces to a novel lower bound on the energy density, which can be proven for several classes of field theories.