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.
F-theory compactifications on Calabi-Yau fourfolds provide one way to obtain N=1 supersymmetric grand unified models of particle physics from string theory. With this motivation in mind, I will consider F-theory on a particularly simple class of local Calabi-Yau fourfolds, for which a low-energy analysis based upon topological gauge theory is valid. For these models, I will explain how the geometry of the fourfold determines the spectrum of massless charged matter and the effective superpotential in four dimensions.
How sure are you that spacetime is continuous? One of the more radical approaches to quantum gravity, causal set theory, models spacetime as a discrete structure: a causal set. Allowing the possibility that spacetime is discrete then how should we do physics on it? Carrying over the usual continuum descriptions in terms of differential equations seems like a difficult option. This talk begins with a brief introduction to causal sets then describes an approach to modelling the propagation of scalar particles on a causal set.
The problem of time is studied in a toy model for quantum gravity: Barbour and Bertotti\'s timeless formulation of non-relativistic mechanics. We quantize this timeless theory using path integrals and compare it to the path integral quantization of parameterized Newtonian mechanics, which contains absolute time. In general, we find that the solutions to the timeless theory are energy eigenstates, as predicted by the usual canonical quantization.
Hawking\'s black hole information paradox is one of the great thought experiments in physics. It points to a breakdown of some central principle of physics, though which one breaks down is still in dispute. It has led to the discovery of ideas that seem to be key to unifying quantum mechanics and gravity, namely the holographic principle and gauge/gravity duality. I review this subject, and discuss ongoing work and future directions.