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String Theory, Quantum Gravity, and Space-Time Singularities

English title String Theory, Quantum Gravity, and Space-Time Singularities
Applicant Blau Matthias
Number 132412
Funding scheme Project funding
Research institution Institut für Theoretische Physik Universität Bern
Institution of higher education University of Berne - BE
Main discipline Theoretical Physics
Start/End 01.10.2010 - 30.09.2012
Approved amount 254'718.00
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Keywords (15)

string theory; quantum gravity; space-time singularities; Penrose limits; plane waves; matrix string theory; non-relativistic AdS/CFT correspondence; Schroedinger space-time; holography; black holes; singularities; matrix theory; AdS/CFT correspondence; Schroedinger space-times; matrix big bang models

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Lay summary
One of the major unsolved problems of theoretical high energy and gravitational physics is the formulation of a consistent theory of quantum gravity and its unification with the other fundamental interactions. One of the main motivations for research on this elusive theory of quantum gravity is the question what happens at classical cosmological (Big Bang) or astrophysical (Black Hole) singularities.This theoretical physics research project, on the interface of mathematical, gravitational and high-energy physics, consistst of two parts, both providing concrete proposals to study particualr aspects of this problem in the context of two distinct non-perturbative formulations of string theory, namely M(atrix)-theory on the one hand, and the AdS/CFT-correspondence on the other. At the present level of (non-)understanding of space-time singularities, any insights into these questions will be welcomed by the scientific community, in particular if they offer a glimpse of what might be called quantum geometry or stringy geometry, or if they provide some insight into mechanisms for or limitations of singularity resolution in candidate theories of quantum gravity, and this is what the current research project can potentially offer.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Aspects of Plane Wave (Matrix) String Dynamics
Blau Matthias, O'Loughlin Martin, Seri Lorenzo (2012), Aspects of Plane Wave (Matrix) String Dynamics, in JHEP, 1204, 098-098.
Asymptotically Schrödinger Space-Times
Hartong Jelle, Rollier Blaise (2012), Asymptotically Schrödinger Space-Times, in Fortsch.Phys., 60, 1044-1049.
Asymptotically Schroedinger Space-Times: TsT Transformations and Thermodynamics
Hartong Jelle, Rollier Blaise (2011), Asymptotically Schroedinger Space-Times: TsT Transformations and Thermodynamics, in JHEP, 1101, 084-084.
Field theory on Schrödinger space-time
Blau M., Hartong J., Rollier B. (2011), Field theory on Schrödinger space-time, in Fortsch.Phys., 59, 704-710.
From D3-Branes to Lifshitz Space-Times
Chemissany Wissam, Hartong Jelle (2011), From D3-Branes to Lifshitz Space-Times, in Class.Quant.Grav., 28, 195011-195011.
Geometry of Schrodinger Space-Times II: Particle and Field Probes of the Causal Structure
Blau Matthias, Hartong Jelle, Rollier Blaise (2010), Geometry of Schrodinger Space-Times II: Particle and Field Probes of the Causal Structure, in JHEP, 1007, 069-069.
Holographic Renormalization for z=2 Lifshitz Space-Times from AdS
Chemissany Wissam, Geissbuhler David, Hartong Jelle, Rollier Blaise, Holographic Renormalization for z=2 Lifshitz Space-Times from AdS, in Classical and Quantum Gravity.
On Supercurrent Superfields and Fayet-Iliopoulos Terms in N=1 Gauge Theories
Arnold Daniel, Derendinger Jean-Pierre, Hartong Jelle, On Supercurrent Superfields and Fayet-Iliopoulos Terms in N=1 Gauge Theories, in Nuclear Physics B.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
University of Waterloo Canada (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Exchange of personnel
University of Nova Gorica Slovenia (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Exchange of personnel
SISSA Italy (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Exchange of personnel

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
Workshop EISA Summer Institute on EPP and Gravity 2012 10.09.2012 Corfu, Greece
Konferenz „Symmetries, unification and the search for quantum gravity“ 06.09.2012 Golm (Potsdam), Germany
Strings 2012 23.07.2012 Munich, Germany
Workshop on String Theory 2011 05.11.2011 Padua, Italy
Workshop EISA Summer Institute on EPP and Gravity 2011 14.09.2011 Corfu, Greece
Aarhus Gauge Theory Workshop 08.08.2011 Aarhus, Denmark
Strings 2011 27.06.2011 Uppsala, Sweden
BSM Workshop String Phenomenology 2012 „Branes and Black Holes“ 28.05.2011 Cambridge, UK
The 27th Nordic Network Meeting on „Strings, Fields and Branes“ 24.03.2011 Copenhagen, Denmark
CERN Winter School on Supergravity, Strings and Gauge Theory 24.01.2011 Genf
TAM 2010 04.10.2010 Budva, Montenegro


Self-organised

Title Date Place
GeNeZISS XVIII 04.05.2012 CERN, Genf
Konferenz „Quantum Theory and Gravitation“ 14.06.2011 ETH, Zürich
GeNeZISS XVII 13.05.2011 ETH, Zürich
GeNeZISS XVI 26.11.2010 EPFL, Lausanne

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
121711 String Theory and Space-Time Singularities 01.10.2008 Project funding
149173 String Theory and Quantum Gravity: Holography and Black Branes 01.10.2013 Project funding

Abstract

One of the major unsolved problems of theoretical high energy and gravitational physics is the formulation of a consistent theory of quantum gravity and its unification with the other fundamental interactions, and one of the main motivations for research in string theory as a theory of quantum gravity is the question of what happens at classical cosmological (Big Bang) or astrophysical (Black Hole) space-time singularities. This research project consists of two parts, both providing concrete proposals to study particular aspects of this problem in the context of two distinct non-perturbative formulations of string theory:A: Plane Wave Matrix Big Bang ModelsThis is a continuation of a long-term research project. Its aim is to gain insight into the problem of string theory in singular and/or time-dependent backgrounds by combining the study of singular plane wave backgrounds as exact (and potentially exactly solvable) string theory backgrounds with powerful non-perturbative gauge theory formulations of string theory.Concretely we will be studying the non-perturbative matrix string theory description of string theory in a class of plane wave backgrounds with null singularities that arise as Penrose limits of realistic black hole or cosmological singularities. This relies crucially on previous work done by us on various classical and quantum aspects of plane waves and Penrose limits of space-time singularities. The current proposal is aimed at extending these investigations to genuinely quantum and string-theoretical issues with the aim of understanding the behaviour of matrix string theory near and at the space-time singularity.B: Geometric Aspects of the Non-relativistic AdS/CFT CorrespondenceThis is a continuation of an ongoing research project. Its aim is to gain insight into the holographic nature of quantum gravity by studying various aspects of a recently proposed non-relativistic modification of the so-called AdS/CFT correspondence (the latter providing the preeminent, and by now reasonably well understood, example of a holographic description of quantum gravity).Concretely, we will study global, geometric, and causal, aspects of the bulk(asymptotically) Schroedinger and Lifschitz space-times with non-relativistic isometry groups that have been proposed as gravitational duals of non-relativistic "boundary" field theories. This relies on previous work done by us on global coordinates for Schroedinger space-time and scalar field propagation in these coordinates. The current proposal is aimed at better understanding the somewhat unusual metric and causal properties of these space-times and their implications for holography.
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