Bangs, Bounces, Black Holes, and Bubbles: Where General Relativity meets Cosmology
11-12 May 2016
Program Organizers: Anna Ijjas (PCTS), Paul J. Steinhardt (PCTS-Princeton)
The time is ripe for a closer interaction between theorists exploring cosmology and general relativity (GR). Cosmology drives GR to the extreme near the big-bang singularity, which is the biggest and most important unsolved problem in early-universe cosmology. Some of the leading issues being explored today include whether a cosmological bounce is possible, whether such a bounce can be non-singular, whether it is possible to quantum
tunnel from a contracting state well approximated by classical GR to an expanding state well approximated by classical GR, what the implications of the BKL-behavior are and how a chaotic mixmaster collapse can be avoided to preserve/create a smooth and flat cosmological background before and after a bounce. For each of these issues concerning a cosmic singularity, there is a corresponding question about black hole singularities, providing a tight link between cosmology and GR.
This program is designed to bring together theorists from the cosmology and GR communities and promote novel collaborations among them, with the aim of establishing a new active area of research at the intersection of the two subjects. It is the first program of its kind.
This is a joint program with the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (MPG) which is hosting a workshop on October 31-November 2, 2016.
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