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Concept# Quantum gravity

Summary

Quantum gravity (QG) is a field of theoretical physics that seeks to describe gravity according to the principles of quantum mechanics. It deals with environments in which neither gravitational nor quantum effects can be ignored, such as in the vicinity of black holes or similar compact astrophysical objects, such as neutron stars as well as in the early stages of the universe moments after the Big Bang
Three of the four fundamental forces of nature are described within the framework of quantum mechanics and quantum field theory: the electromagnetic interaction, the strong force, and the weak force; this leaves gravity as the only interaction that has not been fully accommodated. The current understanding of gravity is based on Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity, which incorporates his theory of special relativity and deeply modifies the understanding of concepts like time and space. Although General Relativity is highly regarded for its elegance it is not without limitati

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Conformal field theories (CFTs) play a very significant role in modern physics, appearing in such diverse fields as particle physics, condensed matter and statistical physics and in quantum gravity both as the string worldsheet theory and through the AdS/CFT correspondence. In recent years major breakthroughs have been made in solving these CFTs through a method called numerical conformal bootstrap. This method uses consistency conditions on the CFT data in order to find and constrain conformal field theories and obtain precise measurements of physical observables. In this thesis we apply the conformal bootstrap to study among others the O(2)- and the ARP^3- models in 3D.
In the first chapter we extend the conventional scalar numerical conformal bootstrap to a mixed system of correlators involving a scalar field charged under a global U(1) symmetry and the associated conserved spin-1 current J. The inclusion of a conserved spinning operator is an important advance in the numerical bootstrap program. Using numerical bootstrap techniques we obtain bounds on new observables not accessible in the usual scalar bootstrap. Concentrating on the O(2) model we extract rigorous bounds on the three-point function coefficient of two currents and the unique relevant scalar singlet, as well as those of two currents and the stress tensor. Using these results, and comparing with a quantum Monte Carlo simulation of the O(2) model conductivity, we give estimates of the thermal one-point function of the relevant singlet and the stress tensor. We also obtain new bounds on operators in various sectors.
In the second chapter we investigate the existence of a second-order phase transition in the ARP^3 model. This model has a global O(4) symmetry and a discrete Z_2 gauge symmetry. It was shown by a perturbative renormalization group analysis that its Landau-Ginzburg-Wilson effective description does not have any stable fixed point, thus disallowing a second-order phase transition. However, it was also shown that lattice simulations contradict this, finding strong evidence for the existence of a second-order phase transition. In this chapter we apply conformal bootstrap methods to the correlator of four scalars t transforming in the traceless symmetric representation of O(4) in order to investigate the existence of this second order phase transition. We find various features that stand out in the region predicted by the lattice data. Moreover, under reasonable assumptions a candidate island can be isolated. We also apply a mixed t-s bootstrap setup in which this island persists. In addition we study the kink-landscape for all representations appearing in the t times t OPE for general N. Among others, we find a new family of kinks in the upper-bound on the dimension of the first scalar operator in the "Box" and "Hook" representations.

Diego Blas Temino, Sergey Sibiryakov

We propose a natural extension of Horava's model for quantum gravity, which is free from the notorious pathologies of the original proposal. The new model endows the scalar graviton mode with a regular quadratic action and remains power-counting renormalizable. At low energies, it reduces to a Lorentz-violating scalar-tensor gravity theory. The deviations with respect to general relativity can be made weak by an appropriate choice of parameters.

2010Diego Blas Temino, Mario Herrero Valea, Sergey Sibiryakov

We compute the beta functions of marginal couplings in projectable Horava gravity in 2 + 1 spacetime dimensions. We show that the renormalization group flow has an asymptotically free fixed point in the ultraviolet (UV), establishing the theory as a UV-complete model with dynamical gravitational degrees of freedom. Therefore, this theory may serve as a toy model to study fundamental aspects of quantum gravity. Our results represent a step forward towards understanding the UV properties of realistic versions of Horava gravity.