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A Black Hole Perspective on Fundamental Physics: Conformal Field Theory, Quantum Chaos, and Quantum Information

Alex Maloney, McGill
Monday, February 3, 2020 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm

Black hole physics provides a powerful window onto some of the deepest and most perplexing questions in quantum field theory and quantum gravity.  This can be made precise using the AdS/CFT correspondence, which relates theories of quantum gravity to conformal field theories (CFTs) in one less dimension.  These CFTs are similar to the gauge theories which describe the fundamental forces of particle physics, as well as to those which describe important statistical and condensed matter systems at criticality.  Inspired by black hole physics, we will develop a universal theory which governs the dynamical data of strongly coupled field theories, including their spectra and interactions.  The result is a field theory version of the gravitational "no hair" theorems which captures the intuitive notion that black hole geometries emerge from the coarse graining of quantum microstates.  This provides a striking link between the chaotic dynamics of strongly coupled field theories and black hole physics, and has remarkable implications for the relationship between quantum gravity, quantum chaos and quantum information theory.

Prof. Maloney is a theoretical particle physicist, with a 2003 PhD, who since 2007 has been on the faculty at McGill University, since 2018 as a full professor. He works on theoretical issues in quantum field theory, string theory, and quantum gravity, and has made forays into quantum information science. He is one of the principal investigators for the “It from Qubit” collaboration, funded by the Simons foundation.

Panopto link.

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