To make progress in developing a quantum theory of gravity, we need to connect candidate theories to observations. I will review ideas on connecting quantum gravity to observations in particle physics, to searches for dark matter and to observations of black holes, in particular with the (next-generation) Event Horizon Telescope.

I will give an overview of how the Event Horizon Telescope achieves its horizon scale science and what's to come. I will also review selected recent results from the Event Horizon Telescope both on Sgr A* and refined analysis of M87*. A focus will be on analysis aspects that are relevant for any theory / model building along with a few examples. The presentation aims to provide key conceptual...

I will review recent work on accelerating spacetimes in 3D, explaining how acceleration manifests for point particles and BTZ black holes, as well as a novel BTZ-like solution in a disconnect region of parameter space. I will also discuss some holographic aspects of the solutions.

"After reviewing some key hints and puzzles from the early

universe, I will introduce recent joint work with Neil Turok

suggesting a rigid and predictive new approach to addressing them.

Our universe seems to be dominated by radiation at early times, and positive vacuum energy at late times. Taking the symmetry and analyticity properties of such a spacetime seriously leads to a new...

Effective field theory analysis are inadequate to describe the evolution of the very early universe. I will describe an approach to obtain emergent time, emergent space, an emergent metric and an emergent early universe cosmology starting from the BFSS matrix model, a proposed non-perturbative definition of superstring theory. In this approach there is no cosmological constant problem.

Effective field theory is a computationally powerful and flexible theoretical framework, finding application in many areas of physics. In particle physics, Weinberg’s folk theorem also promises that any theory that reproduces the predictions of the Standard Model will, at low energies, look like an effective field theory. In one sense the power of this framework should be a cause for pride in...

String theory has not come close to a complete formulation after half a century of intense research. On the other hand, a number of features of the theory suggest that the theory in its complete form may be a final theory. The combination of conceptual incompleteness and allusions to finality seems difficult to grasp. Two main points are made in this talk. First, it is pointed out that...

Singularities in general relativity and quantum field theory are often taken not only to motivate the search for a more-fundamental theory (quantum gravity), but also to characterise this new theory and shape expectations of what it is to achieve. In this talk, I will explore how different types of singularities play a role in the search for quantum gravity, and how different `attitudes'...

The success of the AdS/CFT correspondence motivates a holographic approach for spacetime beyond AdS, including our own universe. One possible method involves using an asymptotically-AdS holography and introducing a finite radial cutoff by inserting an End-of-World (EoW) brane. However, previous studies have shown that this leads to nonlocal effects on the boundary and violates entanglement...

The constrained Hamiltonian formalism is the basis for canonical quantization techniques. However, there are disagreements surrounding the notion of a gauge transformation in such a formalism. The standard definition of a gauge transformation in the constrained Hamiltonian formalism traces back to Dirac: a gauge transformation is a transformation generated by an arbitrary combination of...

If relativistic gravitation has a quantum description, it must be meaningful to consider a spacetime metric in a genuine quantum superposition. Here I present a new operational framework for studying “superpositions of spacetimes” via model particle detectors. After presenting the general approach, I show how it can be applied to describe a spacetime generated by a BTZ black hole in a...

The classical spacetime manifold of general relativity disappears in quantum gravity, with different research programs suggesting a variety of alternatives in its place. As an illustration of how philosophers might contribute to an interdisciplinary project in quantum gravity, I will give an overview of recent philosophical debates regarding how classical spacetime "emerges." I will criticize...

Holography has profoundly transformed our understanding of quantum gravity in spacetimes with asymptotic negative curvature. Its implications for cosmology are equally profound, suggesting that time is emergent and that our universe has a dual description in terms of a three-dimensional quantum field theory. This talk will outline key features of holographic cosmology, from the perspective...

It has been proposed that quantum-gravitational effects may change the near-horizon structure of black holes, e.g. firewalls or ultra-compact objects mimicking black holes. Also, a Lorentz-violating theory as a candidate of quantum gravity, e.g. the Horava-Lifshitz theory, changes the causal structure of black holes due to the superluminal propagation of excited modes. The late-time part of...

I present an unprecedented template-based search for stimulated emission of Hawking radiation (or Boltzmann echoes) by combining the gravitational wave data from 65 binary black hole merger events observed by the LIGO/Virgo collaboration. With a careful Bayesian inference approach, I found no statistically significant evidence for this signal in either of the 3 Gravitational Wave Transient...

Local measurements of the expansion rate of the local universe differ from predictions of simple models fitted to large-scale cosmological measurements, at a statistically significant level. Sample variance (often called cosmic variance) is a key component of errors placed on measurements made from a small data set. For the Hubble constant, which parametrises the expansion rate, the size of...

In addition to the now-well known “Hubble tension”, in recent years a second tension has emerged: the $S_8$ tension. This is a measure of the homogeneity of the Universe. Specifically, $S_8$ is defined as $(\Omega_{\mathrm matter}/0.3)^{0.5} \sigma_8$ where $\sigma_8$ is the standard deviation of the density fluctuation in an 8 $h^{-1}$ Mpc radius sphere. As with the Hubble tension, there is...

The nonlocality of causal sets gives us hope of solving the cosmological constant puzzle (``why is the universe so smooth, big and old if there is only one scale---the discreteness scale---in the theory?’’)

On the other hand locality, , GR and local QFT, must be recovered from quantum gravity in the continuum approximation at large scales, which is a challenge. If we are lucky though...

I will discuss a number of theoretical, observational, and conceptual aspects of the Everpresent Λ cosmological model arising from fundamental principles in causal set theory and unimodular gravity. In this framework the value of the cosmological constant (Λ) fluctuates, in magnitude and in sign, over cosmic history. At each epoch, Λ stays statistically close to the inverse square root of the...

Quantum gravitational phenomena dominate the physics of a black hole in the past of a high curvature spacelike surface. Because of the backreaction of the evaporation, this surface crosses the horizon. I describe a recent line of investigation on the possible evolution compatible with nonperturbative quantum gravity, and in particular I illustrate what can be predicted using loop quantum gravity.

In modern cosmology there is an agreement that the seeds of structure formations resides in the quantum fluctuation of the geometry in the early universe, but there is no agreement about how these could be derived from a quantum theory of gravity. In this talk I present a proposal based on the covariant formulation of Loop Quantum Gravity. I describe how to define a wavefunction of the...

Analogical reasoning has a long and distinguished history as a method for making discoveries in physics. I will discuss novel uses of formal analogies in twentieth century particle physics and condensed matter physics. I will then offer some reflections on how methodological lessons from these cases could inform the use of analogies in discoveries related to quantum gravity.

"I describe a candidate for a fundamental physical theory called the causal theory of views. This describes a world constructed by a continual creation of events; where an event is a transition at which a small portion of the possible

becomes actual. I first recall older results which includes the emergence of space and, with space, a non-relativistic N-body quantum dynamics. I next...