Schedule Apr 20, 2005
Spacetime in String Theory
Dr. Gary Horowitz, UCSB

This year marks the hundredth anniversary of Einstein's "miraculous year", 1905, when he formulated special relativity, and explained the origin of the black body spectrum and Brownian motion. In honor of this occasion, I will describe the modern view of spacetime. After reviewing the properties of spacetime in general relativity, I will provide an overview of the nature of spacetime emerging from string theory. This is radically different from relativity. At a perturbative level, the spacetime metric appears as ``coupling constants" in a two-dimensional quantum field theory. Nonperturbatively (with certain boundary conditions), spacetime is not fundamental but must be reconstructed from a holographic, dual theory. I will conclude with some recent ideas about the big bang arising from string theory.

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