Continuum Relational Physics in Group Field Theories and Applications to Cosmology
It is a general expectation in several approaches to quantum gravity that continuum physics emerges as a macroscopic phenomenon from the collective behavior of fundamental quantum gravity degrees of freedom. However, a physical understanding of this emergence process requires us to address deeply intertwined technical and conceptual issues. In this talk, I will focus on two of them: the localization problem, related to the background independence of the underlying quantum gravity theory, and the coarse-graining problem, related to the extraction of the macroscopic, continuum physics from the microscopic, quantum-gravitational one. After discussing what strategies can be adopted in general to address these issues, I will show a concrete implementation of such strategies in the context of the group field theory approach to quantum gravity. I will then demonstrate how these strategies can be employed to extract cosmological physics from group field theories, allowing to clarify the intrinsically quantum-gravitational nature of cosmic structures and to characterize the impact of quantum gravity effects on the emergent cosmological dynamics.