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.
There appear to be only two essentially distinct ways to understand intersection numbers on moduli spaces of curves --- via Hurwitz numbers or symplectic volumes. In this talk, we will consider polynomials defined by Norbury which bridge the gap between these two pictures. They appear in the enumeration of lattice points in moduli spaces of curves and it appears that their coefficients store interesting information. We will also describe a connection between these polynomials and the topological recursion defined by Eynard and Orantin.
An enormous effort is underway to search for the Higgs boson at the LHC. One new development of the past couple of years is to look into the kinematic region where the Higgs boosted, which has led to the possibility to observe the dominant b-bar decay mode as a single "fat jet" when the Higgs is light. I'll discuss how this technique has great promise not only within the Standard Model, but potentially has even greater promise to find a light Higgs in new physics models such as supersymmetry.
The Petrov classification of the Weyl tensor is an important tool in the study of exact solutions of the Einstein equation in 4d. For example, the Kerr solution was discovered in a study of spacetimes with algebraically special Weyl tensors. Algebraic classification of the Weyl tensor has been extended to higher dimensions. I shall review this classification and describe known families of algebraically special solutions. Recent progress towards obtaining a higher dimensional generalization of the Goldberg-Sachs theorem will be described.
I will discuss recent joint work with A. Ionescu and S. Klainerman on the black hole uniqueness problem. A classical result of Hawking (building on earlier work of Carter and Robinson) asserts that any vacuum, stationary black hole exterior region must be isometric to the Kerr exterior, under the restrictive assumption that the space-time metric shouldbe analytic in the entire exterior region.
Einstein's theory of General Relativity has taught us that empty space (or, more precisely, spacetime) is in itself a dynamical and wonderfully rich entity for both theoretical physicists and science fiction authors alike. Although it may stretch our imagination, astrophysical observations leave little doubt that spacetime can bend, move and vibrate. If we want to explain these phenomena from an underlying microscopic and more fundamental structure, we need to bring in quantum theory, leading to even more exotic possibilities such as spacetime foam and wormholes.
I will describe a very special (infinite-parameter) family of gravity theories that all describe, exactly like General Relativity, just two propagating degrees of freedom. The theories are obtained by generalizing Plebanski's self-dual (chiral) formulation of GR. I will argue that this class of gravity theories provides a potentially powerful new framework for testing the asymptotic safety conjecture in quantum gravity.
Non-relativistic quantum mechanics is derived as an example of entropic inference. The basic assumption is that the position of a particle is subject to an irreducible uncertainty of unspecified origin. The corresponding probability distributions constitute a curved statistical manifold. The probability for infinitesimally small changes is obtained from the method of maximum entropy and the concept of time is introduced as a book-keeping device to keep track of how they accumulate. This requires introducing appropriate notions of instant and of duration.