Organizing Committee
Abstract

This two-day interactive and research-oriented workshop brings together researchers and leaders at the interface of general relativity, quantum gravity, and mathematics with a focus on Chern-Simons Classical and Quantum Gravity. A main goal of the workshop is to find new synergies across sub-disciplines with an eye towards observational signatures.


This workshop is supported by the Simons Foundation.

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Confirmed Speakers & Participants

Talks will be presented virtually or in-person as indicated in the schedule below.

  • Speaker
  • Poster Presenter
  • Attendee
  • Virtual Attendee
  • Peter Adshead
    University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • Stephon Alexander
    Brown University
  • Heliudson Bernardo
    McGill University
  • Steven Clark
    Brown University
  • Cyril Creque-Sarbinowski
    Johns Hopkins University
  • Tatsuya Daniel
    Brown University
  • Alexandru Dima
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Laurent Freidel
    Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics
  • Batia Friedman-Shaw
    Brown University
  • Isabelle Goldstein
    Brown University
  • Abhishek Hegede
    University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • Gabriel Herczeg
    Brown University
  • Yangrui Hu
    Brown University
  • Leah Jenks
    Brown University
  • Marc Kamionkowski
    Johns Hopkins University
  • Savvas Koushiappas
    Brown University
  • Tom Lee
    Brown University
  • Joao Magueijo
    Imperial College London
  • Chloe Richards
    University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
  • Alejandra Rosselli-Calderon
    Brown University
  • Lee Smolin
    Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics
  • Leo Stein
    University of Mississippi
  • michael Toomey
    Brown University
  • Pratik Wagle
    University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • Helvi Witek
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Kent Yagi
    University of Virginia
  • Nicolas Yunes
    University of Illinois Urbana Champaign

Workshop Schedule

Friday, May 6, 2022
  • 4:20 - 4:30 pm EDT
    Welcome
    11th Floor Lecture Hall
    • Stephon Alexander, Brown University
    • Brendan Hassett, ICERM/Brown University
  • 4:30 - 5:15 pm EDT
    Chern-Simons and Parity in Cosmology
    11th Floor Lecture Hall
    • Speaker
    • Marc Kamionkowski, Johns Hopkins University
    • Session Chair
    • Stephon Alexander, Brown University
    Abstract
    The appearance of parity breaking in the electroweak sector, the notion of unification of fundamental forces, and the expectation that a deeper understanding of the Big Bang requires new physics all lead us to consider the search for cosmological signatures of parity breaking. I will review an array of parity-breaking signatures built from large-scale-structure and cosmic-microwave-background data and attempt to connect them models for new physics, most rooted on the inclusion of Chern-Simons terms in the Lagrangian.
  • 5:30 - 6:45 pm EDT
    Reception - featuring Jazz by Melvin Gibbs
    Reception - 11th Floor Collaborative Space
Saturday, May 7, 2022
  • 9:00 - 9:45 am EDT
    Simulating black hole binaries in quadratic gravity
    11th Floor Lecture Hall
    • Speaker
    • Helvi Witek, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    • Session Chair
    • Stephon Alexander, Brown University
    Abstract
    With the advent of gravitational wave astronomy we are now in a perfect position to confront the multitude of beyond-GR theories, typically invoked to connect to quantum gravity paradigms, with actual observations in the strong-field regime of gravity. A necessary ingredient to do so, either via theory-specific tests or to inform parametrized approaches, are theoretical models describing the dynamics of compact binaries in extensions of general relativity. In this talk I will present recent results on modelling black hole binaries in scalar Gauss-Bonnet gravity, that involves higher-curvature corrections to Einstein's equations. As the parity-even cousin of dynamical Chern-Simons gravity, they share common features they may act as guide to phenomenology in dCS. For example, black holes can acquire scalar hair or spontaneously scalarize. Thus, binaries thereof yield new phenomena such as additional scalar radiation, dephasing of the gravitational wave signal and dynamical (de-)scalarization upon merger.
  • 10:00 - 10:45 am EDT
    When Chern-Simons meets quantum gravity: A tale about the Kodama state.
    11th Floor Lecture Hall
    • Speaker
    • Laurent Freidel, Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics
    • Session Chair
    • Stephon Alexander, Brown University
    Abstract
    In this talk, I will introduce the perturbative and non-perturbative canonical quantization of gravity in the presence of a cosmological constant. I will review the advantages of the self-dual formulation of gravity and present the Chern-Simons states discovered by Kodama. I will discuss some successes and some puzzles associated with this state. I will present the construction of the physical scalar product, which provides a non-perturbative solution to the reality conditions and solve a long-standing puzzle. Finally, I will discuss some of the challenges that these results raise.
  • 11:00 - 11:15 am EDT
    Coffee Break
    11th Floor Collaborative Space
  • 11:15 am - 12:00 pm EDT
    Quantum gravity here and now, and at the end of the world
    11th Floor Lecture Hall
    • Speaker
    • Joao Magueijo, Imperial College London
    • Session Chair
    • Stephon Alexander, Brown University
    Abstract
    I review a recent approach to connecting quantum gravity and the real world by deconstantizing the constants of nature, and using their conjugate as a time variable. This is nothing but a generalization of unimodular gravity. The wave functions are then packets of plane waves moving in a space that generalizes the Chern-Simons functional. For appropriate states they link up with classical cosmology in the appropriate limit. There are however deviations, namely during the matter to Lambda transition, raising the possibility that quantum gravity could be in action here and now. At the other extreme I show how this approach can be used to resolve the cosmological singularity, and perhaps more.
  • 12:15 - 1:30 pm EDT
    Lunch/Free Time
  • 1:30 - 1:50 pm EDT
    Aspects of Rotating Black Holes in Dynamical Chern-Simons Gravity'
    11th Floor Lecture Hall
    • Speaker
    • Leah Jenks, Brown University
    • Session Chair
    • Stephon Alexander, Brown University
  • 1:55 - 2:15 pm EDT
    Wavefunctions of the universe and quantum torsion.
    11th Floor Lecture Hall
    • Speaker
    • Gabriel Herczeg, Brown University
    • Session Chair
    • Stephon Alexander, Brown University
  • 2:20 - 2:40 pm EDT
    Black Holes, Neutron Stars and Gravitational Waves in Chern-Simons gravity and beyond
    11th Floor Lecture Hall
    • Speaker
    • Kent Yagi, University of Virginia
    • Session Chair
    • Stephon Alexander, Brown University
  • 2:45 - 3:15 pm EDT
    Coffee Break
    11th Floor Collaborative Space
  • 3:15 - 4:00 pm EDT
    The numerical dynamical renormalization group: controlling secular growth (in numerical simulations of dCS gravity)
    11th Floor Lecture Hall
    • Speaker
    • Leo Stein, University of Mississippi
    • Session Chair
    • Nicolas Yunes, University of Illinois Urbana Champaign
  • 4:10 - 4:45 pm EDT
    Panel Discussion
    11th Floor Lecture Hall
    • Panelists
    • Stephon Alexander, Brown University
    • Laurent Freidel, Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics
    • Joao Magueijo, Imperial College London
    • Lee Smolin, Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics
    • Nicolas Yunes, University of Illinois Urbana Champaign
Sunday, May 8, 2022
  • 9:00 - 9:45 am EDT
    Inflation with Chern-Simons interactions
    11th Floor Lecture Hall
    • Speaker
    • Peter Adshead, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
    • Session Chair
    • Nicolas Yunes, University of Illinois Urbana Champaign
  • 10:00 - 10:45 am EDT
    Chern-Simon states as the description of the past of an event in the causal theory of views
    11th Floor Lecture Hall
    • Speaker
    • Lee Smolin, Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics
    • Session Chair
    • Nicolas Yunes, University of Illinois Urbana Champaign
    Abstract
    This talk describes a continuation of the program of causal views, in which the world consists of nothing but a vast number of partial views of its past. Each view is associated to an event, and is a representation of the immediate causal past of that event. These consists mainly of processes that transfer energy, momentum and other charges to it from its past events.There is fundamentally no space or spacetime, just a large number of events, which are the causes of events to come.
    We show that in a relativistic version of the theory a view of an event is represented by a quantum state. of a Chern-Simons on an N-punctured sphere. N is the number of immediate past events; the cosmological constant is related to the level by
    k = 16 \pi /G \Lambda
    Momentum and energy are fundamental, and are conserved under their transformation from present events to future events. As a result Minkowski spacetime emerges, in a way that preserves causal relations. The locality of events as constructed in the emergent spacetime is a consequence of the conservation of energy-momentum fundamentally.
  • 11:00 - 11:30 am EDT
    Closing Remarks / Discussion
    Closing Remarks - 11th Floor Lecture Hall
  • 11:30 am - 12:00 pm EDT
    Coffee Break
    10th Floor Collaborative Space

All event times are listed in ICERM local time in Providence, RI (Eastern Daylight Time / UTC-4).

All event times are listed in .

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