This series covers all areas of research at Perimeter Institute, as well as those outside of PI's scope.
The transformation of a narrow beam into a hollow cone when incident along the optic axis of a biaxial crystal, predicted by Hamilton in 1832, created a sensation when observed by Lloyd soon afterwards. It was the first application of his concept of phase space, and the prototype of the conical intersections and fermionic sign changes that now pervade physics and chemistry.
Cosmologists are struggling to understand why the expansion rate of our universe is now accelerating. There are two sets of explanations for this remarkable observation: dark energy fills space or general relativity fails on cosmological scales. If dark energy is the solution to the cosmic acceleration problem, then the logarithmic growth rate of structure $dlnG/dlna = \Omega^\gamma$, where $\Omega$ is the matter density independent of scale in a dark matter plus dark energy model.
Key notions from statistical physics, such as "phase transitions" and "critical phenomena", are providing important insights in fields ranging from computer science to probability theory to epidemiology. Underlying many of the advances is the study of phase transitions on models of networks. Starting from the classic ideas of Erdos and Renyi, recent attempts to control and manipulate the nature of the phase transition in network connectivity will be discussed.
Yes, that's indeed where it happens. These pictures are not ordinary pictures but come with category-theoretic algebraic semantics, support automated reasoning and design of protocols, and match perfectly the developments in important areas of mathematics such as representation theory, proof theory, TQFT & GR, knot theory etc. More concretely, we report on the progress in a research program that aims to capture logical structures within quantum phenomena and quantum informatic tasks in purely diagrammatic terms.
Integrability in gauge/string dualities will be reviewed in a broad perspective with a particular emphasis on the recently proposed equations describing the full planar spectrum of anomalous dimensions in AdS/CFT [N.Gromov, V.Kazakov, PV].
Physicists are often so awestruck by the lofty achievements of the past, we end up thinking all the big stuff is done, which blinds us to the revolutions ahead. We are still firmly in the throes of the quantum revolution that began a hundred years ago. Quantum gravity, quantum computers, qu-bits and quantum phase transitions, are manifestations of this ongoing revolution. Nowhere is this more so, than in the evolution of our understanding of the collective properties of quantum matter.
Entanglement is one of the most fundamental and yet most elusive properties of quantum mechanics. Not only does entanglement play a central role in quantum information science, it also provides an increasingly prominent bridging notion across different subfields of Physics --- including quantum foundations, quantum gravity, quantum statistical mechanics, and beyond. Arguably, the property of a state being entangled or not is by no means unambiguously defined.
The fundamental laws of physics are very simple. The world about us is very complex. Living things are very complex indeed. This complexity has led some thinkers to suggest that living things are not the outcome of physical law but instead the creation of a designer. Here I examine how complexity is produced naturally in fluids.
The vacuum landscape of string theory can solve the cosmological constant problem, explaining why the energy of empty space is observed to be at least 60 orders of magnitude smaller than several known contributions to it. It leads to a 'multiverse' in which every type of vacuum is produced infinitely many times, and of which we have observed but a tiny fraction. This conceptual revolution has raised tremendous challenges in particle physics and cosmology.
Quantum graphity is a background independent condensed matter model for emergent locality, spatial geometry and matter in quantum gravity. The states of the system are given by bosonic degrees of freedom on a dynamical graph on N vertices. At high energy, the graph is the complete graph on N vertices and the physics is invariant under the full symmetric group acting on the vertices and highly non-local. The ground state dynamically breaks the permutation symmetry to translations and rotations. In this phase the system is ordered, low-dimensional and local.