This series consists of talks in areas where gravity is the main driver behind interesting or peculiar phenomena, from astrophysics to gravity in higher dimensions.
Our current definition of what a black hole is relies heavily on the assumption that there exists a finite maximum speed of propagation for any signal. Indeed, one is tempted to think that the notion of a black hole has no place in a world with infinitely fast signal propagation. I will use concrete examples from Lorentz-violating gravity theories to demonstrate that this naive expectation is not necessarily true.
A geometric inequality in General Relativity relates quantities that have both a physical interpretation and a geometrical definition. It is well known that the parameters that characterize the Kerr-Newman black hole (angular momentum, charge, mass and horizon area) satisfy several important geometric inequalities. Remarkably enough, some of these inequalities also hold for dynamical black holes. This kind of inequalities, which are valid in the dynamical and strong field regime, play an important role in the characterization of the gravitational collapse.
The talk will summarize some results relating to clarifying the physical significance of the characteristic structure of the Weyl curvature tensor, and proposals for its utilization. I will begin by showing how null force-free or vacuum electrodynamic solutions experience reduced scattering by propagating along the principal null directions (GPNDs) of the spacetime, as if they were the flatter directions of the curvature tensor.
In the last few years the possibility of constraining dark matter with astrophysical observations of compact objects, such as white dwarfs, neutron stars and black holes, has been explored. The ultra-high density interior of neutron stars and the strong-curvature regions near massive black holes make these objects unique laboratories to test weakly-interacting particles.
We argue that the infinite-dimensional BMS symmetry discovered by Bondi et. al in the 60s provides an exact symmetry of the quantum gravity S-matrix. The Ward identity of this symmetry is shown to be precisely Weinberg's soft graviton theorem, also discovered in the 60s. A parallel infinite-dimensional symmetry is found to be generated in nonabelian gauge theories by gauge transformations which go to an angle-dependent finite constant at null infinity. The Ward identity of this symmetry is shown to be the soft gluon theorem.
Horava's proposal to use Lifshitz propagators for gravitons above certain energy scales may provide a viable theory of quantum gravity without further need of UV completion. In my talk, I will address the question of whether the complete lack of Lorentz invariance above a certain energy scale is a big problem for any realistic construction. I will argue that it is not, provided that the onset of Lifshitz scaling for gravitons occurs at momentum scale much lower than the Planck mass.
The equation of state of matter at and above nuclear densities remains a major theoretically uncertain prediction of QCD. Observations of the mass-radius relationship of neutron stars constrain, and can directly measure, the dense matter equation of state. I will discuss how measurements of neutron star radii have already constrained the dEOS, and how future work will directly measure the dEOS, providing an important constraint on models of the strong force.
The motivation of this seminar is to understand the thermalisation of heavy ion collisions using AdS/CFT. These collisions can be modelled as colliding planar gravitational shock waves. This gives rise to rich and interesting dynamics; wide shocks come to a full stop and expand hydrodynamically, as was previously found by Chesler and Yaffe. High energy collisions (corresponding to thin shocks) pass through each other, after which a plasma forms in the middle, within a proper time 1/T, with T the local temperature at that time.