This series consists of talks in the area of Quantum Gravity.
For quantum gravity states associated to open spin network graphs, we study how the boundary (the set of open edges, which carries spin degrees of freedom) is affected by the bulk, specifically by its combinatorial structure and by the quantum correlations among the intertwiners. In particular, we determine under which conditions certain classes of quantum gravity states map bulk degrees of freedom into boundary ones isometrically (which is a necessary condition for holography).
The main feature of tensor models is their melonic large N limit, leading to applications ranging from random geometry and quantum gravity to many-body quantum mechanics and conformal field theories. However, this melonic limit is lacking for tensor models with ordinary representations of O(N) or Sp(N). We demonstrate that random tensors with sextic interaction transforming under rank-5 irreducible representations of O(N) have a melonic large N limit.
This talk focuses on the semiclassical behavior of the spinfoam quantum gravity in 4 dimensions. There has been long-standing confusion, known as the flatness problem, about whether the curved geometry exists in the semiclassical regime of the spinfoam amplitude. The confusion is resolved by the present work. By numerical computations, we explicitly find curved Regge geometries from the large-j Lorentzian Engle-Pereira-Rovelli-Livine (EPRL) spinfoam amplitudes on triangulations.
Quantum groups are the proper tool to describe quantum gravity in three dimensions. Several arguments suggest that 2-groups should be used to formulate four dimensional quantum gravity. I will review these motivations and will discuss in particular how 2-groups can be used to extend the definition of a phase space associated to a triangulation or to modify the notion of group field theory to generate topological models. I will also highlight how the kappa Poincaré deformation arises in the 2-group context.
Time at the Planck scale is an unexplored physical regime. It is widely believed that probing Planck time will remain for long an impossible task. Yet, we propose an experiment to test the discreteness of time at the Planck scale and show that it is not far removed from current technological capabilities.
It has been a long-standing dream of twistor theorists to understand gravity without ever talking about gravitons in space-time. To this end, I will describe the recent discovery of a twistor action formulation of perturbative general relativity. This takes the form of a theory governing complex structure deformations on twistor space. It reduces to Plebanski's formulation of GR on performing the Penrose transform to space-time.
In this talk I introduce nonlocal (infinite derivative) field theories. First of all, I discuss how and which principles of quantum field theory are affected when higher-order derivative operators are taken into account in a Lagrangian. In particular, I focus on the issue of unitarity and on how to make higher-derivative theories healthy by means of non-polynomial differential operators. I extend the treatment to the gravity sector and consider nonlocal theories whose graviton propagators are ghost-free, and explore the possibility of regularizing singularities.
The problem of time is often discussed as an obstacle in the canonical quantisation of gravitational systems: general covariance means there is no preferred time parameter with respect to which evolution could be defined. We can instead characterise dynamics in relational terms by defining one degree of freedom to play the role of an internal clock for the other variables; this leads to a multiple choice problem of which variable should play the role of clock.
The incorporation of classical general relativity into the framework of quantum field theory yielded a rather surprising result -- thermodynamic particle production. In short, for fundamental deformations in the structure of spacetime, quantum mechanics necessitates the creation of thermalized particles from the vacuum. One such phenomenon, known as the Unruh effect, causes empty space to effervesce a thermal bath of particles when viewed by an observer undergoing uniformly accelerated motion.
The advent of black hole imaging has opened a new window into probing the horizon scale of black holes. An important question is whether string theory results for black hole physics can predict interesting and observable features that current and future experiments can probe.