Spacetime and matter under the microscope

Seminário Virtual | Wednesday, October 20, 2021 | 13:00:00
Antonio Duarte Pereira
General relativity and quantum field theory are two pillars of modern physics. They describe physical phenomena across many orders of magnitude with very good precision and, so far, finding observational data that challenges such a paradigm has been frustrating. Nevertheless, our current understanding suggests that spacetime itself must fluctuate quantum mechanically and such effects should be manifest at tiny length scales. A consistent theory of "quantum gravity" is still unknown since the standard perturbative quantum-field theoretic techniques do not lead to a consistent theory at scales where quantum gravity is assumed to rule. In this talk, I will discuss how this does not necessarily imply that standard quantum field theory cannot provide a consistent theory of quantum gravity and matter as an asymptotically safe theory. Our magnifying glass to zoom in on the microstructure of spacetime is the Wilsonian Renormalization Group. I will try to summarize the status of this approach to quantum gravity and highlight the technical challenges their practitioners are facing at the moment. Moreover, I will present recent results on gravity-scalar systems.