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.
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.
In recent years there has been a lot of interest in F-Theory GUTs, mostly considering local models. In this talk I first consider an SU(5) GUT locally at the "point of E_8". The requirements of proton stability and reasonable flavour structure single out exactly two models. However, both models cannot be embedded in a semilocal construction (via the spectral cover approach). This casts doubts on the predictivity of local models.
I will discuss the phenomenologically interesting scenario of matter inflation in supersymmetric hybrid inflation models. The inflaton resides in a gauge non-singlet matter multiplet and the eta-problem is solved by a "Heisenberg" symmetry. This symmetry relates the inflaton with a modulus field and we stabilize this modulus via corrections to the KÃ¤hler potential. The Heisenberg symmetry arises naturally for the untwisted matter fields in heterotic orbifolds.