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Physics Colloquium

Thursday, June 10, 2021
4:00pm to 5:00pm
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Online Event
Carving out Theory Space
David Simmons-Duffin, Caltech,

I will discuss two central challenges in theoretical physics. The first is dealing with strong coupling: many interesting and important physical systems are strongly-coupled and resist
traditional computational methods. The second challenge is making predictions for quantum gravity in the absence of a complete microscopic theory of quantum gravity. Surprisingly, these two problems are connected, and both can be attacked with a strategy called the "bootstrap": using symmetries and consistency conditions to carve out the space of theories. To illustrate the connection, I will describe recent applications of bootstrap methods to the superfluid
transition in liquid helium, and to constraining corrections to Einstein's theory of General Relativity.