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Quantum Gravity, Black Hole Entropy and the Emergence of Spacetime.


The objective of the proposal is to make progress in the problem of quantum gravity. Quantum gravity is the name of the theory that combines quantum theory with general relativity. Although there are several candidates for such a theory none of them can claim to be completely satisfactory. The problem of finding such a theory can be tackled in two different ways. First there is the top down approach. Here one tries to use known theories to infer as much as possible about the as yet unknown theory.

Then there is the bottom-up approach. Here one tries to build the theory from first principles. It is the aim of this proposal to make progress using both approaches. The top down approach will be followed by looking closer at the problem of black hole entropy. Recently progress in this direction has been made using the ringing modes of a black hole. A characteristic frequency of the ringing modes spectrum could be used to fix a parameter in loop quantum gravity, one of the candidates for a theory of quantum gravity.

With this value of the parameter the entropy of a black hole calculated in loop quantum gravity coincides exactly with the Bekenstein Hawking value of one quarter of the horizon area. This surprising connection opens up a whole set of new questions. The underlying mechanism of this connection is unclear. What is the status for rotating black holes? It is the aim of this proposal to make progress on this type of questions. For this it will be necessary to better understand classical black holes in loop quantum gravity.

Here contact is made to the bottom up approach. The understanding of classical black holes in quantum gravity requires the solution of the so-called problem of time. The other aim of the proposal is to understand this problem better. One-way of doing this is to have a closer look at simple system from solid states physics. If looked at in an appropriate way, these systems can be fruitful test beds for ideas on how to proceed.

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South Kensington Campus
United Kingdom

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