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Jun 18 – 20, 2024
Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics
America/Toronto timezone

Cohort Project Presentation - "Catching Up": Holography

Jun 20, 2024, 11:30 AM
PI/1-100 - Theatre (Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics)

PI/1-100 - Theatre

Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics



Charlie Cummings (University of Pennsylvania) Eivind Jørstad (Perimeter Institute) Manu Srivastava (MIT)


Authors from PSI 2022:

Charlie Cummings, Eivind Jørstad, and Manu Srivastava

Quantum gravity is a notoriously deep subject, spanning topics such as quantum field theory, general relativity, statistical mechanics, and the many seemingly distinct attempts to unify these three pillars of physics. “Catching up”, even within a single subfield of quantum gravity, can be a daunting task. One useful approach is to carefully read through the seminal papers of the field. Another is to eschew the original works, and focus on high level reviews of recent progress. These reviews have the benefit of hindsight, as well as being more manageable time commitment for already overworked students. Additionally, reviews can serve as a vital tool for finding the seminal works in the first place!

Within quantum gravity, holography is relatively young approach, with the foundational paper of Maldacena being written only 25 years ago. Most reviews in this field were written 10-20 years ago, before vital recent progress. For example, the phenomena of “islands” is now seen as an essential feature of holography, yet does not appear in any major review because they were first formulated less than 5 years ago. We propose to create a modern review of holography, with an emphasis towards pedagogy and highlighting the papers which have risen to the level of classics in recent years. Any student who studies this review will be confident that they have not missed any of the major concepts which have shaped this modern approach to quantum gravity, and can form an informed opinion about if this approach is compatible with their interests.

Perimeter is home to many of the giants of holography, who have developed key insights into the nature of quantum gravity. Furthermore, although the scope of this review is planned to focus on holography, we hope to make as many connections as possible to other approaches such as M theory compactifications, loop quantum gravity, asymptotic safety, causal set theory etc., as we believe that an interdisciplinary approach will only strengthen the usefulness of the review for students. Perimeter is also home to many experts in these other approaches, who will serve as a valuable resource in guiding us through the relevant literature of those fields. Access to such experts, as
well as the vast enhancement of productivity with in-person collaboration makes our in-person travel to Perimeter essential for this project. Without the PSI Reunion Project Grant, the review will be significantly less interdisciplinary and less comprehensive even within the main scope of holography. It will be easy to present this project to the PSI alumni, as we can present both a broad overview of the physics involved in the review, as well as a more meta explanation about the importance of understandability in making physics more accessible, not just to the public but also to beginner students with less access to resources at their home institutions, increasing accessibility of a historically terse field.

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