Physics & Astronomy Seminar: Gravity and Gauge Theories: The Difficulty of Quantum Gravity

Kenneth Ratliff, Department of Physics, Syracuse University, will speak. Modern theories of fundamental physics can be divided into four overlapping camps: gravity vs. gauge theories, and classical vs. quantum. The famous difficulty of constructing a quantum theory of gravity motivates a deeper look into the building blocks of these theories. What does it mean to say that spacetime is curved? How do we ‘quantize’ classical theories, and why has general relativity, the bestverified classical theory of gravity to date, so stubbornly refused to fall in line? Why do theorists consider these seemingly complicated theories to be conceptually elegant, and are there any structural similarities between relativity and those theories which do admit a quantum description? In this talk I hope to briefly and accessibly discuss each of these issues, focusing on the power and ubiquity of symmetries and geometry in modern physics.

Tuesday, April 23 at 11:30am to 12:30pm

Ho Science Center, 101
1819 Oak Dr, Hamilton, NY 13346, USA

Topic

Academics, Natural Sciences Mathematics

Event Type

Lectures, colloquia, seminars, etc.

Group
Physics & Astronomy Department
Contact E-mail

djanney@colgate.edu

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