Perturbative study of infrared QCD

Quantum Chromodynamics, the microscopic theory of strong interaction, is asymptotically free. As a consequence, perturbation theory is a useful tool to study high energy phenomena. In the opposite regime, the infrared, QCD is believed to be non-perturbative. However, last decade lattice simulations have showed that the coupling constant is finite in the infrared and not so big. That makes us think that some features of infrared QCD could be understood using perturbation theory. Moreover, the completely gauge-fixed Lagrangian is not known in the infrared.

Testing relativistic vacuum decay with cold atoms

Vacuum decay is a prominent example of strongly nonlinear effects in quantum field theory with potentially important implications for cosmology, relating to phase transitions in the early universe or the supposed metastability of the current Higgs vacuum. Although a general theoretical description was laid out in the 80s by Sidney Coleman and his collaborators, fundamental questions pertaining to the back-reaction of true vacuum bubbles on space-time curvature and their correlations remain so far unanswered, calling for different approaches to the problem.

Gravitational Generation of Dark Matter

In this talk I will discuss several working models for producing dark matter (DM), which require no couplings between the visible sector and DM besides (classical) gravity. In particular, I will show that contrary to common wisdom the current observational bounds do not substantially limit the parameter space nor cosmological history, but rather that gravitational particle production can quite naturally lead to a DM abundance in agreement with observations. Based on arXiv:1808.08236 and arXiv:(to be uploaded…).

AdS_2 holography - Mind the Gap!

Black holes appear to lead to information loss, thus violating one of the fundamental tenets of Quantum Mechanics. Recent Information-Theory-based arguments imply that information loss can only be avoided if at the scale of the black hole horizon there exists a structure (commonly called fuzzball or firewall) that allows information to escape. I will discuss the highly-unusual properties that this structure must have and how these properties emerge in the realization of this structure in String Theory via branes, fluxes and topology.

Bayesian measurements of inflation with additional fields

In this talk I will demonstrate how, by introducing additional scalar degrees of freedom, one can measure properties of the inflationary era which may be otherwise inaccessible. Using two explicit examples (the curvaton and a feebly interacting model of dark matter), which introduce new informative priors into the post-inflationary phenomenology, we are able to constrain either the total duration that inflation takes place or its energy scale independently of the tensor-to-scalar ratio.

Inflation beyond GR

Scalar-tensor theories of gravity have become a very rich framework from which one can construct viable phenomenological models of early- and late-time cosmology. In particular for inflation, previous models constructed using the Horndeski Lagrangian give predictions which are now in tension with CMB data. On the other hand, by trying to fit the observations, one would find instabilities at the level of the quantum perturbations. Furthermore, computing the standard inflationary observables in a semi-analytical way is a nontrivial task.

The `unitarity problem' of Higgs inflation in the light of collapse dynamics

Higgs Inflation is no doubt one of the most favoured models of inflation in present time. But the huge non-minimal coupling of the Higgs field with gravity required for the model to work often raises concern which is dubbed as the 'unitarity problem' of Higgs inflation. We will show that CSL-like collapse dynamics, otherwise applied to inflationary dynamics in order to explain the quantum-to-classical transition of primordial quantum modes, can bring down the value of non-minimal coupling considerably.

CFT Entanglement Entropy and Topological Terms in Gravity

In 2006, Ryu and Takayanagi provided a general recipe on how to compute
entanglement entropy of a Conformal Field Theory using gauge/gravity
duality. This holographic prescription, which considers the extension of
the entangling region from the boundary into an Einstein space bulk, has
produced remarkable insight on general properties of strongly correlated
systems. However, this progress has been made on a rather case-by-case
basis, as it requires proper renormalization of the gravity action in
the bulk.

Observational constraints on inflationary potentials within the quantum collapse framework

The inflationary paradigm is the most successful model for the
generation of primordial perturbations. These perturbations have a
purely quantum origin, while the inhomogeneities and anisotropies
observed today exhibit a classical behavior. The model called Continuous
Spontaneous Localization (CSL) is a proposed mechanism to solve the
measurement problem in quantum mechanics. In this presentation, we will
analyze the theoretical predictions resulting from incorporating the CSL


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