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.
The concepts of emergence and analogy are very closely related -- A is like B vs A is B. I will discuss this in the context of the emergence of/analogy with Hwking radiation in the arena of fluid systems, and the possibility of doing experiments in the lab. Does this mean gravity is emergent from some aether like theory? I think attempts to do that are fraught with difficulties, and will briefly discuss why I think so.
It is widely held that string theory shows that spacetime geometry and topology are emergent rather than fundamental. Often it is said that this follows from the various interesting dualities that exist within string theory. I will discuss the argument from duality, contrasting it with older arguments for the non-objectivity of spatiotemporal topology. I hope that this will clarify some questions about the role of spacetime in string theory---and about the differences between the ways that philosophers and physicists approach these questions.
Our ability to understand the physical world has to a large extent depended on the existence of emergent properties, and the separation of scales that permits effective field theory descriptions to be useful. Exploiting this fact, we can construct minimal models that enable efficient calculation of desired quantities, as long as they are insensitive to microscopic details. This works in many instances in physics, and I give some examples drawn from the kinetics of phase transitions mediated by topological defects.
We provide a microscopic understanding of the nucleation of topological quantum liquids that arise due to interactions between non-Abelian anyons. With the pairwise anyon interactions typically showing RKKY-type oscillations in sign, but decaying exponentially with distance, we show that the character of the nucleated phase is fully determined by anyon interactions beyond nearest neighbor exchange. We investigate this issue in the context of Kitaev's honeycomb lattice model.
It is usually assumed that the quantum wave-particle duality can have no counterpart in classical physics. We were driven into revisiting this question when we found that a droplet bouncing on a vibrated bath could couple to the surface wave it excites. It thus becomes a self-propelled "walker", a symbiotic object formed by the droplet and its associated wave.
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.
Check back for details on the next lecture in Perimeter's Public Lectures Series