2011-2015 Outreach

  • The IGC AMON initiative was highlighted in the September 15 issue of Physics Today.
  • The Last Gasp of a Black Hole. Recent results by Eugenio Bianchi and collaborators on the relation between quantum entanglement, black hole evaporation and the possibility of negative energy density in quantum field theory were highlighted in a press release from Perimeter Institute. Read article
  • A short overview of the beautiful interplay between geometry and physics that dictates properties of gravitational waves in the classical theory, and of scattering states in the quantum theory, in the context of full non-linear general relativity. Invited article for the volume “Surveys in Differential Geometry,” a Jubilee Volume on General Relativity and Mathematics Celebrating 100 Years of General Relativity, edited by L. Bieri and S.T. Yau. Read article
  • A Centennial Perspective on General Relativity and Gravitation to appear in the CUP volume commemorating the centenary of Einstein’s discovery, commissioned by the International Society. Introductions to the four parts of the volume, written jointly by the editors: Abhay Ashtekar (Editor-in-Chief), Beverly K. Berger, James Isenberg and Malcolm A. H. MacCallum. Read article
  • A short global overview of “The Last 50 Years of General Relativity & Gravitation,” illustrating advances that occurred between two triennial conferences of the International Society on General Relativity and Gravitation GR3 which took place just before the 50th anniversary of general relativity and GR20, held just before the 100th, both in Warsaw, Poland. Overview
  • Before the Big Bang – Loop Cosmology Explained
    A youtube video by Phillip and Monica Halper (43.26 min)What happened before the big bang? It’s one of the most popular questions in astronomy. When the observable universe is smaller than an atom our classical theory of gravity, Einstein’s theory of General Relativity, breaks down and needs to be modified with a theory that can also accommodate the physics of the sub atomic world, quantum mechanics. Armed with a quantum theory of gravity cosmologists may be able to tackle the question of what happened before the big bang. Loop quantum cosmology is considered one of the most promising candidates for such a theory. In this film we interview some of the leading scientists in the field to explain this exciting theoretical development. We ask what happened before the big bang? Is there a multiverse? Why was the entropy of the universe so low in the past? Could the Planck spacecraft anomalies be signs of the pre big bang universe? How do we test these ideas? Should we accept the claims that the universe really has a beginning? Watch video
  • An article by Penn State undergraduate, Joseph Rogachevsky, in “Onward State” on the nature of Science, Motivations behind scientific inquiry and basics of Quantum Gravity.PDF
  • Abhay Ashtekar’s public lecture in a Frontier of Science Series at Boca Raton, FLorida: “Big Bang and the Quantum: Einstein and Beyond,” April 6, 2012. Lecture slides   |  Sun News Network article
  • A general exposition of the work by Abhay Ashtekar, Adam Henderson and David Sloan on the nature of singularities in general relativity was given in the website The Gauge Connection. It describes the conjecture due to Belinskii, Khalatnikov and Lifshitz and describes the recent results on this subject from loop quantum gravity as a “fundamental contribution to general relativity.” PDF
  • John Wheeler discusses the Wheeler DeWitt equation and mentions Penn State contributions on Web of Stories. Play video clip.
  • Stephane Coutu, Doug Cowen, Ty DeYoung, Irina Mocioiu and Paul Sommers conducted a week-long workshop in particle astrophysics for high school teachers in July 2011. The workshop was attended by 14 high school teachers who came from as far away as Texas. Funding was provided by the National Science Foundation and the PA Space Grant Consortium. Photos: #1  |  #2  | #3  |  #4
  • Short videos on Loop Quantum Gravity and Loop Quantum Cosmology (audio in German).  Watch video
  • Short video of lectures by Carlo Rovelli and Abhay Ashtekar at the BBVA Foundation during the celebration of 25 years of Loop Quantum Gravity in Madrid, Spain (May 2011) Video – YouTube
  • The LOOPS 11 conference will take place at the main campus of CSIC in Madrid (Spain) in May 23-28, 2011. According to the Spanish organizers, “It will commemorate the 25th anniversary of the publication by Abhay Ashtekar of the landmark paper on the “new variables” that sparked the loop quantum gravity (LQC) revolution. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the state of the art in LQG research and review the open issues and problems that must be solved to complete the quantization of general relativity in this framework. However the organizers have placed special emphasis on the impact of LQG on other approaches to quantum gravity and, reciprocally, on the exploration of ideas originating in other frameworks that could be beneficial for LQG.” More information is available at the conference website: http://www.iem.csic.es/loops11/.