Physics @ Berkeley
Events in Physics
Title: Quantum Gravity With Anisotropic Scaling And The Multicritical Universe    (Colloquia)
Start Date: 02/06/2012
Time: 4:15 pm
Location: 1 LeConte Hall
Speaker: Petr Horava
Affiliation: Professor of Physics at UC Berkeley
Contact Person: Sarah Wittmer   (510) 642-3034

The problem of understanding how gravity fits together with other fundamental interactions of matter has been at the forefront of theoretical research for many decades, leading to the rich framework of string theory and M-theory.  In this framework, many fundamental questions are being resolved, but many remain quite mysterious, suggesting that some novel concepts may be needed.  I review the recent concept of multicritical gravity with Lifshitz-type anisotropic scaling, which has attracted a lot of attention in the past few years.  In this approach, quantum gravity is treated as a quantum field theory of the spacetime geometry, whose improved ultraviolet behavior is a consequence of a short-distance anisotropy between space and time. This theoretical framework reproduces and explains some of the recent ground-breaking lattice results in the “causal dynamical triangulations’’ appoach to quantum gravity, presents new exciting opportunities for cosmological scenarios, and suggests a new phenomenological picture for unifying particle physics with gravity in the “multicritical universe.’’