From the Black Hole Conundrum to the Structure of Quantum Gravity

Monday, January 25, 2021 - 4:15pm
University of California, Berkeley
Public Lecture: 

Having a complete quantum theory of gravity has long been a major goal of theoretical physics. This is because a naive merger of quantum mechanics and general relativity---though it works in certain limited regimes---suffers from major theoretical problems. A particularly acute one arises when one considers the quantum mechanics of black holes: two fundamental principles of modern physics---the conservation of probability in quantum mechanics and the equivalence principle of general relativity---seem to be incompatible with each other. I will explain how recent theoretical progress begins to address this problem and portray the emerging picture of how spacetime and gravity behave at the level of full quantum gravity.