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Physics Program presents

Hunting Quantum Gravity

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

A lecture by
David Mattingly
Candidate for the position in Physics

Quantum gravity, a theory that consistently incorporates both quantum mechanics and general relativity, has been an outstanding problem in physics for almost 80 years.  Most of the progress on quantum gravity has been theoretical and, as a result, there are a number of different models for quantum gravity and the fundamental nature of space and time.  Only in the last decade have experimental advances made it possible to test some of these models and construct a phenomenology.  In this talk we will explain, in a fairly non-technical manner, what goes into a quantum theory of gravity, why models have traditionally been so difficult to test, and aspects of the now rich phenomenology.   As an example, we will concentrate on how new ultra-high energy cosmic ray data can differentiate between models of quantum gravity.

Location: RKC 111