This series consists of talks in the area of Quantum Gravity.
Locally covariant quantum field theory (LCQFT) has proven to be a very successful framework for QFT on curved spacetimes. It is natural to ask, how far these ideas can be generalized and if one can learn something about quantum gravity, using LCQFT methods. In particular, one can use the relative Cauchy evolution to formulate the notion of background independence. Recently we have proven that background independence in this sense holds for effective quantum gravity, formulated as a perturbative QFT.
After the seminal work of Connes and Tretkoff on the Gauss-Bonnet theorem for the noncommutative 2-torus and its extension by Fathizadeh and myself, there have been significant developments in understanding the local differential geometry of these noncommutative spaces equipped with curved metrics. In this talk, I will review a series of joint works with Farzad Fathizadeh in which we compute the scalar curvature for curved noncommutative tori and prove the analogue of Weyl's law and Connes' trace theorem.
We study the classical constraint algebra of Hořava-Lifshitz gravity, where due to the breaking of 4d diffeomorphism symmetry, there is a new dimensionless coupling absent in GR and whose role is not yet clear. Starting from two apparently contradictory results, we show how the role of the extra coupling differs between the projectable and non-projectable versions of the theory. In particular, we see how in the latter, it gives rise to a non-trivial constraint algebra, akin to the conditions seen in the CMC gauge of GR.
Rank 3 tensorial group fields theories with gauge invariance condition appear to be renormalizable on dimension 3 groups such as SU(2), but also on dimension 4 groups. Building on an analogy with ordinary scalar field theories, I will generalize such models to group dimension 4 - ε, and discuss what this might teach us about the physically relevant SU(2) case.
Arguments that gravity cannot be a local renormalizable quantum field theory come from both field theory lore and black hole physics. Two current approaches to quantum gravity, asymptotic safety and Horava-Lifshitz gravity, both of which treat quantum gravity as a local renormalizable QFT, are explicitly constructed to counter field theory arguments about the non-renormalizability of gravity. However, any proposed renormalizable theory of quantum gravity must also answer black hole physics based counter-arguments.
Lorentz invariance is considered a fundamental symmetry of physical theories. However, while Lorentz violations are strongly constrained in the matter sector, constraints in the gravitational sector are weaker, allowing to contemplate the idea of Lorentz-violating gravity theories. In this talk I will discuss the effects of Lorentz violations in the quantum cosmology scenario by analyzing the properties of a simple anisotropic model in the framework of Horava-Lifshitz gravity and, if time permitting, some partial results on the viability of this class of theories.
The perturbative series of colored group field theory are governed by a combinatorial 1/N-expansion. Controlling its coefficients is essential in order to understand the continuum limit. I will show how such a program is naturally related to higher-dimensional generalizations of trees in a colored Boulatov-Ooguri model, and present some partial results on the enumeration of such strucures in melonic graphs. This talk is mainly based on recent results by Baratin, Carrozza, Oriti, Ryan, and Smerlak ("Melonic phase transition in group field theory".
Recent implications of results from quantum information theory applied to black holes has led to the confusing conclusions that requires either abandoning the equivalence principle (e.g. the firewall picture), or the no-hair theorem (e.g. the fuzzball picture), or even more unpalatable options. The recent discovery of a pulsar orbiting a black hole opens up new possibilities for tests of theories of gravity. We examine possible observational effects of semiclassical quantum gravity in the vicinity of black holes, as probed by pulsars and event horizon telescope imaging of flares.
Loop quantum gravity has a spinorial representation. Spinors simplify the symplectic structure of the theory, but can they also teach us something about the dynamics? We study this question in three dimensions, and derive the Ponzano–-Regge model from a spinorial action. Our construction starts from the first-order Palatini formalism, and gives the discretised action in the spinorial representation. A one-dimensional refinement limit brings us back to a continuum theory. The three-dimensional action turns into a line integral over the edges of the discretisation.
I review a class of nonlocally modified gravity models which were proposed to explain the current phase of cosmic acceleration without dark energy. Among the topics considered are deriving causal and conserved field equations, adjusting the model to make it support a given expansion history, why these models do not require an elaborate screening mechanism to evade solar system tests, degrees of freedom and kinetic stability, and the negative verdict of structure formation.