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Events in Physics
Title: Quantum Mechanics & Relativistic Astrophysics    (Colloquia)
Start Date: 11/29/2004
Time: 4:30 pm
Location: 1 LeConte Hall
Speaker: Dr. George Chapline
Affiliation: Laboratory Physicist, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Contact Person: K. Lee   (510) 642-3034
Details: Although it has been generally believed that classical general relativity is always correct for macroscopic length scales, certain predictions of general relativity such as event horizons and closed time-like curves are inconsistent with ordinary quantum mechanics. It has been pointed out that these inconsistencies can be resolved if the vacuum state of space-time posses long-range off-diagonal quantum coherence. Remarkably it turns out that superfluid rigidity fails exactly where event horizons and closed time-like curves were predicted to occur. This circumstance leads to pictures for compact objects and cosmological space-time very different from the usual pictures. In particular, the interior of compact objects and cosmological space-time resemble rotating superfluids; the occurrence of quantum vortices in compact objects may be associated with relativistic jets, while in the cosmological case the vortices give rise to quantum turbulence that may explain the observed fluctuations in the CMB.

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