Event Details

Quantum Probes and the Architecture of Spacetime

  • 2023-02-01
  • Prof. Dawood Kothawala, Physics, IITMadras

Our conception of space and time is built through measurements and observations of physical phenomenon, characterized and catalogued in terms of extended solid objects and light rays – “rods and clocks” - which we employ as probes. It is but natural to then expect that the quantum behavior of these probes should play an important role in characterizing the structure of spacetime. Since this behavior is captured via two-point functions (distance function, two-point correlators, etc), one must reconstruct spacetime in terms of such objects. In this talk, I will present a broad overview of a paradigm which attempts to do this by collecting decades of semi-classical clues about space, time, and gravity. I will also highlight the intriguing possibility that quantum spacetime might leave a relic in the limit ? ® 0.

Dawood graduated with a Bachelors in Electrical and Electronics Engineering, and a dual Masters in Physics, from BITS, Pilani, in 2005. He obtained his Ph.D. in theoretical physics from the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA), Pune, in 2010, followed by post-doctoral work at the University of New Brunswick, Canada, and has been at IIT Madras since 2012. His research interests lie largely in classical and quantum aspects of gravitational physics, and their implications for the unification of quantum theory and general relativity. Recently, he has been exploring new geometrical tools that can provide a peek into the nature of space and time at the smallest of scales. He hopes this will shed light on quantum aspects of spacetime and gravity, and tell us something about spacetime singularities, black holes, and the early universe, while leaving some relics that survive the ? ® 0 limit - much like the grin of the Cheshire cat!