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Crystal Gravity

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How would the universe look like when all matter would be in the form of one big rock? This question could have been addressed by Einstein himself when there would have been a reason for it. The crucial realization is that this corresponds with the Higgs phase of gravity, a close cousin of the Higgs phase in Yang-Mills theory. At the same time, the geometric interpretation of elasticity has been flourishing in soft matter and material science where all the machinery is lying ready to merge it with gravity. This revolves around the intricate topological excitations of solids – dislocations, disclinations etcetera – that turn in a dynamical background into gravitational fluxoids, the analogues of the Abrikosov flux lines in superconductors.


1. J. Zaanen, F. Balm and A.J. Beekman, arXiv:2109.11325

This talk is part of the DAMTP Friday GR Seminar series.

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