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.
Calculations in General Relativity inevitably involve tricky manipulations of tensor equations. In many cases, the tensor algebra involved is at best tedious and fraught with error, and at worst impossible. It is, however, ideally suited to implementation in a computer algebra system such as Mathematica. In this talk I will show how the xAct tensor algebra package can be used to make light work of difficult tensor calculations.
Surprisingly, several basic questions in classical and quantum gravity, which were resolved some 40-50 years ago for zero $\Lambda$, still remain open in the $\Lambda >0$ case. In particular, for $\Lambda >0$, we still do not have a satisfactory notion of gravitational radiation or Bondi 4-momentum in exact general relativity, nor a positive energy theorem. Similarly, the standard constructions of `in' and `out' Hilbert spaces that we routinely use (e.g. in the analysis of black hole evaporation) do not extend to the $\Lambda >0$ case.
The Kerr metric of vacuum general relativity is expected to describe astrophysical black holes. Boson stars, on the other hand, are one of the simplest gravitating solitons, suggested as astrophysical compact objects, black holes mimickers and as dark matter candidates. Kerr black holes with scalar hair, found in , continuously interpolate between these two types of, per se, physically interesting solutions.
I will describe a new proposal for defining the holographic
entanglement entropy at subleading orders in N (on the boundary) or
hbar (in the bulk). This involves a new concept of "quantum extremal
surfaces" defined as the surface which extremizes the sum of the area
and the bulk entanglement entropy. This conjecture reduces to
previous conjectures in suitable limits, and satisfies some nontrivial
consistency checks. Based on arXiv:1408.3203
The mass of a black hole has traditionally been identified with its energy. We describe a new perspective on black hole thermodynamics, one that identifies the mass of a black hole with chemical enthalpy, and the cosmological constant as thermodynamic pressure. This leads to an understanding of black holes from the viewpoint of chemistry, in terms of concepts such as Van derWaals fluids, reentrant phase transitions, and triple points. Both charged and rotating
black holes exhibit novel chemical-type phase behaviour, hitherto unseen.
Gravitational waves (GW) imprint apparent Doppler shifts on the frequency of photons propagating between an emitter and detector of light. This forms the basis of a method to detect mHz GW using Doppler velocimetry between pairs of satellites . The crucial component in such GW detectors is the frequency standard on board the emitting and receiving satellites. I will discuss how recent developments in atomic clock technology have led to devices that could be sufficiently sensitive to probe astrophysically interesting sources.
With recent advancement of experimental physics, macroscopic objects, which are typically well-described by classical physics, can now be isolated so well from their environment, that their quantum uncertainties can be studied quantitatively. In the research field called “optomechanics”, mechanical motions of masses from picograms to kilograms are being prepared into nearly pure quantum states, and observed at time scales ranging from nanoseconds to milliseconds.
In AdS/CFT, the HRT prescription relates the entanglement entropy of a region of a CFT to the area of an extremal surface in the dual AdS spacetime. But there exists a class of spacetimes in which the HRT prescription is ill-defined. These spacetimes consist of planar AdS wormholes containing an inflating region. I will introduce these so-called AdS-dS-wormholes, discuss how the HRT prescription fails in them, and suggest possible modifications to remedy the problem.
One version of the membrane paradigm states that as far as outside observers are concerned, black holes can be replaced by a dissipative membrane with simple physical properties located at the stretched horizon. We demonstrate that such a membrane paradigm is incomplete in several aspects. We argue that it generically fails to capture the massive quasinormal modes, unless we replace the stretched horizon by the exact event horizon, and illustrate this with a scalar field in a BTZ black hole background.
A prime challenge to our understanding of galaxy formation concerns the scarcity of dwarf galaxies compared with the numerous low-mass halos expected in the current ΛCDM paradigm. This is usually accounted for by assuming that energetic feedback from evolving stars confines dwarf galaxy formation to relatively massive halos spanning a narrow mass range. I will highlight a number of observations that may be used to test this assumption and discuss the puzzles and challenges that arise from this analysis.