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Public Lecture: Professor Jan Plefka - The world as a hologram: News from s...
Tue 14 July 2015, 19:00 – 20:00 BST
We are all familiar with holograms: Two-dimensional optical structures which - when suitably lit - create the "illusion" of a three-dimensional object. In fact the light waves emerging from holograms are identical to the ones one would perceive from the three-dimensional object - a static observer could not distinguish the two. Recent research in fundamental physics has revealed that the gravitational force of nature might in fact be a holographic illusion in this sense. It is replaceable by a lower dimensional structure, known as gauge field theory. The latter is the theoretical framework to describe the non-gravitational forces in nature. Our lecture will begin with reviewing the basic concepts of gravitation, quantum mechanics and quantum fields. Then the holographic concept and its relation to superstrings will be presented. Finally, current insights on how to exploit this duality to answer questions in gauge field theory, which had not been accessible so far, will be presented.
Professor Jan Plefka works in mathematical physics with a focus on quantum field and string theory. After studying in Germany and the US he received his PhD from the University of Hannover in 1995. After postdoctoral positions at City College New York and Nikhef Amsterdam, he became a Junior staff member at the Max-Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics in Potsam in 1998. In 2006 he received a Lichtenberg-Professorship at the Humboldt University Berlin supported by the Volkswagen Foundation. Since 2011 he is a full professor there. In 2014 he held a guest professorship at the ETH Zürich. His work focusses on the duality of strings and gauge fields with special emphasis on hidden symmetries in these systems.
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