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Is spacetime a material?

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Prahar Mitra.

In this colloquium, I will argue against “top down” approaches to spacetime in favor of something more playful. When a condensed matter theorists hears of an interesting experimental phenomenon, for example the quantization of the Hall resistance in a 2d sample, their goal is to find a crude model that explains it. I will present several examples where thinking of Einstein’s equations as “the lab” gives us “experimental” phenomena that demand a simple explanation. Rather than search for UV complete theories, perhaps it would be fun to try and find crude models for the observed phenomena?

This talk is part of the Theoretical Physics Colloquium series.

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