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.
I will describe how and why coupling variations and violations of the equivalence principle are generally expected in string theory and focus on two main scenarios/realizations: the Damour-Polyakov and the runaway dilaton.
Arguably, the most important issue in physics today is trying to unify the twin pillars of modern physics, quantum theory and general relativity, into a single theory known as quantum gravity. This introductory presentation will discuss various aspects of quantum gravity.
I will review the published quasar absorption line constraints on variations in the fine-structure constant, alpha, focusing on the apparent disagreement between those derived from Keck/HIRES and VLT/UVES spectra which have provided evidence for and against alpha variation, respectively. I demonstrate simple yet fundamental flaws in the UVES constraints which preclude reliable comparison with those from HIRES. I will outline our program to obtain a definitive UVES measurement.