Alex Maloney, McGill University
Tuesday, February 7, 2017 - 2:30pm to 3:30pm
The holographic correspondence is a powerful tool to study fundamental questions in quantum gravity. Its simplest realization - the AdS/CFT correspondence - relates theories of quantum gravity to conformal field theories (CFTs) in one less dimension. These CFTs are similar to the gauge theories which appear in the Standard Model of particle physics, as well as to those which describe important statistical and condensed matter systems at criticality. By studying these CFTs we can answer important questions about the nature of quantum gravity, such as whether every theory of quantum gravity is a string theory, and understand how semi-classical space-time emerges from more fundamental quantum degrees of freedom. This has important implications for the quantum theory of black holes and for quantum cosmology, and points to intriguing connections between gravity, field theory, and quantum information theory.