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Black hole collapse in large-c CFT

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Holography (also known as AdS/CFT) is a duality relation that gives us a way of formulating questions about quantum gravity in terms of more ordinary quantum field theories without gravity. A natural and long-standing goal has been to understand the physics of black holes using holographic duality. I will report on some recent progress on this question elucidating the spherical collapse of an in-falling shell of null matter in three dimensional quantum gravity. I will comment on the relation between the physics of thermalization in quantum field theory and the issue of black-hole information loss.

This talk is part of the Theoretical Physics Colloquium series.

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