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Special Physics Seminar: Sean Carroll, "Extracting the Universe from the Wave Function"

Special Physics Seminar: Sean Carroll, "Extracting the Universe from the Wave Function"
When Oct 18, 2018
from 12:30 PM to 01:30 PM
Where MR418N
Contact Name
Contact Phone 212-650-5572
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Special Physics Seminar

"Extracting the Universe from the Wave Function"

 

Sean Carroll

Senior Faculty Associate, Walter Burke Institute for Theoretical Physics, Physics Department, Division of Physics, Mathematics, and Astronomy, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA

 

Quantum mechanics is a theory of wave functions in Hilbert space.  Many features that we generally take for granted when we use quantum mechanics -- classical spacetime, locality, the system/environment split, collapse/branching, preferred observables, the Born rule for probabilities -- should in principle be derivable from the basic ingredients of the quantum state and the Hamiltonian.  I will discuss recent progress on these problems, including consequences for cosmology and quantum gravity.

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My research involves theoretical physics and astrophysics, especially cosmology, field theory, and gravitation. I have worked on questions involving dark matter and dark energy, modified gravity, violations of Lorentz invariance, extra dimensions, topological defects, cosmic microwave background anisotropies, causality violation, black holes, and the cosmological constant problem. Most of my current attention is focused on the origin of the universe and the arrow of time, including the roles of inflation, baby universes, and quantum gravity.