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.
This talk considers the extent to which the intertheoretic relation between an EFT and its (possibly hypothetical) high-energy theory supports a notion of emergence. When a high-energy theory exists, this relation is based on a process that involves the elimination of high-energy degrees of freedom. This elimination results in an EFT that formally bears little resemblance to the high-energy theory. I investigate the extent to which this lack of formal resemblance underwrites notions of novelty and autonomy that may be appropriately associated with emergence.
In the philosophical literature, effective field theories have been regarded as emergent in the sense of furnishing novel explanations. In particular, Batterman has argued that effective field theories in statistical mechanics are emergent in this sense. I will argue that effective field theories in quantum field theory do not furnish analogous novel explanations.
How can one model the behavior of materials that display radically different, dominant behaviors at different length scales. Although we have good models for material behaviors at small and large scales, it is often hard to relate these scale-based models to one another. Macroscale (effective) models represent the integrated effects of very subtle factors that are practically invisible at the smallest, atomic, scales. For this reason it has been notoriously difficult to model realistic materials with a simple bottom-up-from-the-atoms strategy.
In 1665, the clockmaker Christiaan Huygens noticed that two pendulum clocks hanging on a wall tend to synchronize the motion of their pendulums. A similar scenario occurs with two metronomes placed on a piano: they interact through vibrations in the wood and will eventually coordinate their motion. These effects are stable against small perturbations. Such stability is not predicted by either Hamiltonian mechanics or by few-body quantum theory. Nonetheless they can be seen as occurring within a simple model introduced by Kolmogorov.
In this second presentation, we will revisit Feynman's first argument and discuss how it still strongly influences variational studies of relativistic field theories with MPS or cMPS. However, as we explain, this argument can be completely overcome by introducing different variational parameters for the different length scales in the system, a strategy that naturally results in the MERA for lattice systems, or its continuous version for field theories.
In this talk I will describe how to generalize the multiscale entanglement renormalization ansatz to quantum fields. The resulting variational class of wavefunctions, cMERA, arising from this RG flow are translation invariant and exhibit an entropy-area law. I'll illustrate the construction for some example fields, and describe how to cover the case of interacting theories.
The Enriched Xenon Observatory (EXO) collaboration has observed the two-neutrino double beta decay of 136Xe with EXO-200, a prototype to the full EXO detector in development. This second order process, predicted by the Standard Model, has been observed for several nuclei but not for 136Xe. The observed decay rate provides new input to matrix element calculations and to the search for the more interesting neutrino-less double-beta decay, the most sensitive probe for the existence of Majorana particles and the measurement of the neutrino mass scale.
Topological Quantum field theories(TQFTs) are a special class of QFTs. Their actions do not depend on the metric of the background space-time manifold. Thus, it is very natural to define TQFTs on an arbitrary triangulation of the space-time manifold and they are independent on the triangulation. More importantly, TQFTs defined on triangulations are always a finite theory associated with a well defined cut-off. A well known example is the Turaev-Viro states sum invariants.
Several mechanisms can lead to production of particles during inflation. I discuss how this phenomenon can induce a contribution to the primordial spectrum of gravitational waves with unusual properties: the tensors produced this way can violate parity; can have a large three-point function; can have a relatively large tensor-to-scalar ratio even if inflation occurs at low energies; finally, their spectrum can display a feature that can be directly detected by second-generation gravitational interferometers such as advanced LIGO.
The MERA offers a powerful variational approach to quantum field theory. While the continuous MERA may allow us to directly address field theories in the continuum, the MERA on the lattice has already demonstrated its ability to characterize conformal field theories. In this talk I will explain how to extract the conformal data (central charge, primary fields, and their scaling dimensions and OPE) of a CFT from a quantum spin chain at a quantum critical point.
Check back for details on the next lecture in Perimeter's Public Lectures Series