CfA Colloquium Schedule Spring 2005
 19 May 2005

19 May 2005

Speaker: Lee Smolin (Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics)

Title: Astrophysical tests of quantum gravity

Abstract: In the last years there has been significant progress on unifying general relativity and quantum theory in the context of a research program called loop quantum gravity. I introduce the main ideas and assumptions behind this approach, and explain the main results to date. Among the results are demonstrations that the theory is well defined and finite, reproduces black hole entropy and has semiclassical states from which quantum field theory on classical backgrounds can be recovered. The theory has been developed to the point that predictions have been published for present and near future high energy astrophsyical observations that probe physics at the Planck scale. These include AUGER and GLAST, which are sensitive to the question of whether Lorentz invariance is maintained, broken or deformed at the Planck scale.

Video of the Presentation (Talks can be viewed with RealPlayer. Free download is available from )

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