This series consists of talks in the area of Quantum Gravity.
This talk will deal with a new connection formulation for higher-dimensional (Super)gravity theories and its applications. We will start by reviewing the basic ideas of loop quantum gravity. Next, the derivation of the new connection formulation will be discussed and it will be shown that the quantization methods developed in the context of loop quantum gravity apply. We comment on applications of the framework, focusing on making contact with String theory.
The parity invariance of spinfoam gravity is an open question. Naively, parity
breaking should reside in the sign of the Immirzi parameter. I show that the
new Lorentzian vertex formula is in fact independent of this sign, suggesting
that the dynamics is parity-invariant. The situation with boundary states and
operators is more complicated. I discuss parity-related pieces of the
transition amplitude and graviton propagator in the large-spin 4-simplex
limit. Numerical results indicate patterns similar to those in the Euclidean
The fluid/gravity correspondence relates hydrodynamic flows in D spacetime dimensions to black hole dynamics in D+1 dimensions. It is an extension of black hole thermodynamics, where charges are upgraded into local currents, and the Bekenstein-Hawking entropy - into a local entropy current. I will propose a definition for a generalized local current of Wald entropy relevant to higher-curvature gravity. As an example, I will consider 5d gravity with a U(1) gauge field and a gravitational Chern-Simons term.
This talk focuses on an application of a WKB technique that is a generalization of the Born-Oppenheimer approximation to the Schwinger model of angular momentum. This work makes it possible to express the asymptotic limits of higher 3nj symbols in terms of the asymptotic limits of lower 3nj symbols, when only a subset of quantum numbers are taken to be large. After an introduction of the the technique, we show that the 15j symbol has different asymptotic limits in terms of a combination of several Ponzano Regge actions when different subsets of quantum numbers are taken large.
A charged particle can detect the presence of a magnetic field confined into a solenoid. The strength of the effect depends only on the phase shift experienced by the particle's wave function, as dictated by the Wilson loop of the Maxwell connection around the solenoid. In this seminar I'll show that Loop Gravity has a structure analogous to the one relevant in the Aharonov-Bohm effect described above: it is a quantum theory of connections with curvature vanishing everywhere, except on a 1d network of topological defects.
Cosmology and quantum gravity have not always had the smoothest of interactions. As a case in point I'll summarize the calculation behind the prediction of tensor modes in inflationary universes and discuss the difficulties found in recasting this calculation in terms of Ashtekar-Barbero-Immirzi variables. Contrary to the belief that ``inflation is shielded from quantum gravity'', novelties are found, leading to the interesting prediction of a chiral signature in the gravitational wave background, proportional to the imaginary part of the Immirzi parameter.
A number of recent proposals for a quantum theory of gravity are based on the idea that spacetime geometry and gravity are derivative concepts and only apply at an approximate level. Two fundamental challenges to any such approach are, at the conceptual level, the role of time in the emergent context and, technically, the fact that the lack of a fundamental spacetime makes difficult the straightforward application of well-known methods of statistical physics and quantum field theory to the problem.
A serious shortcoming of spinfoam loop gravity is the absence of matter.
I present a minimal and surprisingly simple coupling of a chiral fermion field in the framework of spinfoam quantum gravity.
This result resonates with similar ones in early canonical loop theory: the naive fermion hamiltonian was found to be just the extension of the simple
Emergent gravity scenarios have become increasingly popular in recent times. In this talk I will review some evidence in this sense and discuss some lessons from toy models based on condensed matter analogues of gravity. These lessons suggest some (possibly) general features of the emergent gravity framework which not only can be tested with current astrophysical observations but can also improve our understanding of cosmological puzzles such as the dark energy one.