Since 2002 Perimeter Institute has been recording seminars, conference talks, and public outreach events using video cameras installed in our lecture theatres. Perimeter now has 7 formal presentation spaces for its many scientific conferences, seminars, workshops and educational outreach activities, all with advanced audio-visual technical capabilities. Recordings of events in these areas are all available On-Demand from this Video Library and on Perimeter Institute Recorded Seminar Archive (PIRSA). PIRSA is a permanent, free, searchable, and citable archive of recorded seminars from relevant bodies in physics. This resource has been partially modelled after Cornell University's arXiv.org.
Remote talk by teleconference
In science, we often see new advances and insights emerging from the intersection of different ideas coming from what appeared to be disconnected research areas. The theme of my seminar will be an ongoing collision between the three topics listed in my title which has been generating interesting new insights into a variety of fields, eg, condensed matter physics, quantum field theory and quantum gravity.
The second law of thermodynamics appears to be a universal law of physics. This universality suggests that entropy and with it information theory is part of the foundations of physics.
Classical and quantum theories are very different, but the gap between them may look narrow particularly if the notion of classicality is broadened. For example, if we do not impose all the classical assumptions at the same time, hidden variable theories reproduce the results of quantum mechanics. If a quantum system is restricted to Gaussian states, evolution and measurements, then classical phase space mechanics with a finite resolution fully reproduces its behavior.
The concept of quantum entanglement entropy is playing a key role in understanding the mechanism underlying holography. In this talk we will discuss how entanglement can capture non-trivial geometric properties of the bulk spacetime. The goal is to exploit the interplay between anomalies and entanglement entropy, and for concreteness we will focus on AdS3/CFT2. Anomalies play as well a key role in RG flows, and in this context we will see how entanglement, anomalies and geometry conspire to capture dynamically the correct physics.
Quantum mechanics is derived from the principle that the universe contain as much variety as possible, in the sense of maximizing the distinctiveness of each subsystem. This is an expression of Leibniz's principles of sufficient reason and the identity of the indiscernible.
Super-massive black holes that grow at the center of dark matter halos distort the dark matter within their zone of influence into a steep density spike. This spike can give rise to strong enhancements of standard indirect detection signals, and can lead to qualitatively new windows onto the physics of the early universe. I will talk about potential dark matter signals from the Milky Way's central black hole, some astrophysical caveats, and the possible use of black holes as dark matter accelerators.
To make precise the sense in which nature fails to respect classical physics, one requires a formal notion of "classicality". Ideally, such a notion should be defined operationally, so that it can be subjected to a direct experimental test, and it should be applicable in a wide variety of experimental scenarios, so that it can cover the breadth of phenomena that are thought to defy classical understanding. Bell's notion of local causality fulfills the first criterion but not the second, because it is restricted to scenarios with two or more systems that are space-like separated.
I will discuss my work (in progress) to formulate General Relativity as an operational theory which includes probabilities and also agency (knob settings). The first step is to find a way to discuss operational elements of GR. For this I adapt an approach due to Westman and Sonego. I assert that all directly observable quantities correspond to coincidences in the values of scalar fields. Next we need to include agency. Usually GR is regarded as a theory in which a solution is simply stated for all space and time (the Block Universe view).
Check back for details on the next lecture in Perimeter's Public Lectures Series