Playing with quantum gravity in the lab

Speaker:Professor Jacob Bekenstein
Affiliation:The Hebrew University
Location:Lidow Rosen Auditorium (323)
Abstract:Discussion about the quantum theory of gravity (which many would class as the number-one open problem in theoretical physics) is at least seventy years old. All along it has been mostly a theoretical undertaking. Meanwhile technology in the service of physics has developed by leaps and bounds. The recent announced discovery of the Higgs boson is just the last of a chain of experimental checks of the standard elementary particle model. By comparison, none of quantum gravity’s touted features have ever been put in evidence in the lab. I will mention briefly some of the planned experiments on the subject, mostly in accelerators or in astronomical settings, to test quantum gravity. I will then focus on the quantum foam idea and a proposal for exposing it in the lab.