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Theoretical Particle Physics and Cosmology > Research > Quantum gravity

Quantum gravity

Research in quantum gravity aims at unifying two very successful theories that explain seemingly different aspect of our universe: Einstein's general theory of relativity and the quantum theory of particles.

A long-outstanding problem in theoretical physics is to find a quantum description of the laws of gravity. Research in quantum gravity aims at unifying two very successful theories that explain seemingly different aspect of our universe: Einstein's general theory of relativity describes gravity on macroscopic scales, like the solar system, while quantum mechanics accurately describes the dynamics of particles, like electrons and photons, on microscopic scales.

In order to understand the nature of space and time, as well as the physics around the time of the Big Bang, a theory is required that encompasses both scales. In the past various attempts have been made to construct such a theory, with string theory being the most famous example.

Another approach that is actively studied at our group is "causal dynamical triangulations" (CDT), which aims at quantizing space-time using a minimal set of ingredients. Its simplicity allows one in particular to perform computer simulations of miniature universes, and this unique glimpse into to the quantum fluctuations of space-time may teach us more about the Big Bang.

Expertise of the group includes:

  • Causal dynamical triangulations in various space-time dimensions
  • Conformal field theory
  • 2d Liouville quantum gravity and non-critical string theory
  • Matrix models
  • Dynamical triangulations and random planar maps