Schedule Oct 23, 2003
Having the World on a String -- Toy models of inflation and cosmology
Emil Martinec (University of Chicago)

Two dimensional (Liouville) gravity models higher dimensional de Sitter cosmology with surprising fidelity, and yet is an exactly solvable quantum field theory. Suitable coupling to matter yields models of inflation, opening new possibilities to explore structure formation, initial conditions, etc, inluding the effects of quantum gravitational back-reaction. One may also explore the relation between quantum gravity and thermodynamics in this context; some additional possible applications are also described.

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