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Andrew Chamblin Memorial Lecture 2018

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Observing Black Holes in Quantum Mechanics:

Black holes are extraordinary consequences of Einstein’s theory of General Relativity, describing extreme features in the behaviour of matter when too much of it is compressed into too small a volume. Large black holes are known to occur in many places in the Universe, but what happens when they get very small? At some point, the laws of quantum mechanics, normally applying to atoms and molecules, should dictate what happens. If you thought black holes are weird and that quantum mechanics is weird as well, try to imagine what happens when these two are combined.

Several theories for the combination of the gravitational force with the quantum theories of elementary particles have been constructed and elaborated, notably string theory, decorated with super symmetry. It is generally thought that these theories will automatically handle black holes correctly. But they don’t. Fundamental modifications are needed and these may bring extremely valuable insight into how to proceed with these theories.

This talk is part of the Andrew Chamblin Memorial Lectures series.

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