Planck Meets Hubble and Boltzmann: Holographic Quantum Foam and Cosmology

Recording Details

Speaker(s): 
Scientific Areas: 
PIRSA Number: 
07110038

Abstract

Quantum fluctuations of spacetime give rise to quantum foam, and black hole physics dictates that the foam is of holographic type. One way to detect quantum foam is to exploit the fact that an electromagnetic wavefront will acquire uncertainties in direction as well as phase as it propagates through spacetime. These uncertainties can show up in interferometric observations of distant quasars as a decreased fringe visibility. The Very Large Telescope interferometer may be on the verge of probing spacetime fluctuations which, we argue, have repercussions for cosmology, requiring the existence of dark energy/matter, critical cosmic energy density, and accelerating cosmic expansion in the present era. We speculate that, in the framework of holographic quantum foam, the dark energy is composed of an enormous number of inert ``particles\'\' of extremely long wavelength. These ``particles\' necessarily obey infinite statistics (quantum Boltzmann statistics) in which all representations of the particle permutation group can occur. For every boson or fermion in the present observable universe there could be ~ 1031 such ``particles\'.