COLLOQUIUM: Holography, quantum gravity and black holes
AlbaNova and Nordita Colloquium
Thursday 18 February 2010
to 16:15 at
Oskar Klein Auditorium
Jan de Boer (University of Amsterdam)
At a fundamental level, nature is inevitably described by a quantum theory
of gravity. A crucial insight from the 1990s was that the fundamental degrees of quantum
gravity are very strange and highly non-local, and can all be imagined to live on a screen
which has one dimension less than space-time itself, hence the name holographic screen.
This notion of holography, which has been made completely quantitative in the context of
string theory, has dramatically altered our understanding of quantum gravity. I will review
this idea and its concrete implementation, and describe how it implies that space and time
must be emergent phenomena. I will also summarize our present understanding of quantum
black holes, and sketch some recent attempts to use black holes to understand
things as diverse as the quark-gluon plasma and high-Tc superconductors.