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[Emeriti-faculty] Events for Week of Sept. 15, 2008

Department of Physics and Astronomy Seminars for week of 9/15/08:

September 18, 2008
1:30 PM
Robinson Hall, Room 250

Tufts University
Lunchtime Cosmology Seminar

“Mesoscopic Structures in Quantum de Sitter Space”

Andrew Randono
Pennsylvania State University

de Sitter space, being the analogue of Minkowski space in the case of a positive cosmological constant, provides an interesting test ground for models of quantum gravity. From the non-perturbative perspective, a litmus test for a framework of quantum gravity is that it must reproduce a quantum version of de Sitter space as a ground state. Here we review one approach towards non-perturbative quantum de Sitter space. We briefly look at the interesting connection with this state and Chern-Simons theory and knot theory. We then show that the state has a classical limit that reproduces de Sitter space with small quantum corrections. The quantum corrections have the peculiar property that they are neither of Planck scale or cosmological scale, but they exhibit a quasi-discreteness in the spatial volume on the order of the volume of the proton. Throughout the talk for conceptual clarity we will emphasize analogies with simple quantum systems.