Copernicus Webinar and Colloquium Series


Dear Colleagues,

To promote scientific discussions during this pandemic, we are organizing an online seminar series, i.e. Copernicus Webinar Series, seeking the most outstanding speakers to introduce innovative ideas and important progress in the field of gravity and cosmology. This series is named after the famous Polish Astronomer, Nicolaus Copernicus, whose discovery eventually marked the dawn of modern science.

We would like to invite you to take part in the upcoming 115th Copernicus Webinar and in the upcoming 21st Colloquium talk.

115th Copernicus Webinar:

Time:                6th December, Tuesday, at 3pm CET (10 pm Beijing, 11 pm JST, 9 am ET)

Speaker:           Guilherme Franzmann (Nordita)

Is our Universe geometrical after all?

After decades, we still lack a proper understanding of the quantum nature of gravity. Nonetheless, we have already seen many theoretical hints that gravity does not easily fit in the quantum mechanical framework. In this talk, I will discuss the issues associated with gravitating vacuum energy and take that as empirical evidence of the breakdown of QFT in the presence of gravity. Then, I will argue for a radical alternative where space(-time) is completely emergent from quantum mechanics alone, defined for finite-dimensional Hilbert spaces. After briefly reviewing how spacetime can be emergent, I will sketch a new research program that establishes experimental signatures to test the emergent nature of spacetime.

Zoom link:
Meeting ID: 421 480 1692
Passcode: cosmology
21st Colloquium talk:

Time:        8th December, Thursday, 3pm CET (10 pm Beijing, 11 pm JST, 9am ET, 2pm GMT)

Speaker:   Neil Turok (University of Edinburgh)

Title: A new theory of the universe

Observations of the universe have revealed a surprising economy in its basic laws and structure. In this light, Latham Boyle and I have reconsidered cosmology’s central puzzles, aiming to find simpler, more principled and more predictive solutions. From an improved understanding of the big bang singularity, we were able to explain the dark matter as consisting of a stable, massive RH neutrino. Forthcoming large scale galaxy surveys including EUCLID and LSST will closely test this hypothesis. The baryon asymmetry can likewise accounted for by the standard model including RH neutrinos (leptogenesis). By calculating the gravitational entropy for realistic cosmologies, we have found a new explanation for the large scale geometry of the cosmos which does not require inflation. These thermodynamic arguments address the arrow of time and provide a clue to the role of the cosmological constant. We recently found a new cure for the leading order divergences of the standard model coupled to gravity, requiring no new particles or forces and explaining why there are three generations of standard model fermions (including RH neutrinos). As a byproduct of this change in the properties in the quantum vacuum of the standard model, we show how approximately scale-invariant, primordial curvature perturbations, responsible for the formation of galaxies and large scale structure, are generated. The perturbation amplitude, statistical properties and character are predicted in terms of standard model parameters. If time allows, I’ll discuss a new and potentially observable signature on very large scales.

Zoom link:
meeting id: 9423380685
Password: gravity