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- Astrophysics Seminar
- Quantum Gravity in the sky? Interplay between fundamental theory and Observations
- Prof. Abhay Ashtekar
- The Institute for Gravitation & the Cosmos, and Physics Department Penn State
11/01/2017, 14:30 - 15:30
- Lidow, 620
Thanks to the spectacular observational advances since the 1990s, a `standard model' of the early universe has now emerged. However, since it is based on quantum field theory in curved space-times, it is not applicable in the Planck regime. Using techniques from loop quantum gravity, the theory can be extended over the 12 orders of magnitude in density and curvature from the onset of inflation all the way back to the Planck regime, providing us with a possible completion of the standard model. Contrary to a wide-spread belief, the resulting pre-inflationary dynamics can lead to specific observable predictions. Thus, there is an emergent interplay between fundamental theory and cosmological observations of the early universe. The talk will provide a broad overview of these results.