Large Grants
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Previous Programs

2018 Agency in the Physical World
Awardees; RFP download

2016 Physics of the Observer
Awardees; RFP download

2015 The Physics of What Happens
Awardees; RFP download

2013 Physics of Information
Awardees; RFP download

2010 The Nature of Time
Awardees; RFP download

2008 Foundational Questions in Physics and Cosmology
Awardees; RFP download

2006 Foundational Questions in Physics and Cosmology
Awardees; RFP download

David Anthony Lowe
Brown University

Project Title

Holographic approaches to gravity and the arrow of time

Project Summary

A promising approach to string theory and quantum gravity has been developed over the past decade. Quantum gravity in spacetimes with a negative cosmological constant can be reformulated in terms of special quantum field theories without gravity, in a spacetime with one fewer dimension. This is an example of a holographic reformulation of quantum gravity. In principle, these lower dimensional quantum field theories provide complete formulations of string theory, which previously had only existed as a series expansion in small fluctations around special spacetime backgrounds. In practise, it has been challenging to decode the hologram to address questions in quantum gravity. This project will develop ways to embed realistic cosmologies within this framework, and use new tools to decode the hologram. The goal is to find new insights into the origin of the arrow of time and the quantum nature of spacetime geometry.

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