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Theory Colloquium: Constraints on Quantum Gravity

Professor Hirosi Ooguri (Caltech & IPMU, Tokyo University)

28.06.2023 at 16:15 




Although predictions of quantum gravity are typically at extremely high energy, several non-trivial constraints on its low energy effective theory have been found over the last decade or so. I will start by explaining why the unification of general relativity and quantum mechanics has been difficult. After introducing the holographic principle as our guide to the unification, I will discuss its use in finding constraints on symmetry in quantum gravity. I will also discuss other conjectural constraints on low energy effective theories, collectively called swampland conditions, and their consequences.

Short Biography:

Hirosi Ooguri is an outstanding theoretical physicist working on quantum field theory, quantum gravity, superstring theory, and their interfaces with mathematics. He is particularly renowned for his work on topological string theory, which has had broad applications ranging from black hole physics to algebraic geometry and knot theory in mathematics. He also made fundamental contributions to conformal field theories in two dimensions, D-branes in Calabi-Yau manifolds, the AdS/CFT correspondence, and properties of supersymmetric gauge theories and their relations to superstring theory.

After finishing his master studies at Kyoto University, Ooguri became a tenured faculty member at the University of Tokyo in 1986. He was a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton in 1988-89 and was appointed an Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago before receiving his Ph.D. in 1989 from the University of Tokyo. After serving as an Associate Professor at Kyoto University for four years, he returned to the United States as a Professor of Physics at UC Berkeley in 1994. He moved to Caltech in 2000, where he is the inaugural holder of the Fred Kavli Chair since 2007. At Caltech, Ooguri led the establishment of the Walter Burke Institute for Theoretical Physics in 2014 and has been its Founding Director since then. He also helped establish the Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe (Kavli IPMU) of the University of Tokyo in Japan in 2007, whose director he became in 2018. Moreover, Ooguri is chair of the Board of Trustees of the Aspen Center for Physics.

Ooguri has received the Medal of Honor with Purple Ribbon from the Emperor of Japan, the Eisenbud Prize for Mathematics and Physics from the American Mathematical Society, the Simons Investigator Award from the Simons Foundation, the Hamburg Prize and the Humboldt Research Award in Germany, the Benjamin Lee Distinguished Professorship in Korea, and the Nishina Memorial Prize and the Chunichi Cultural Award in Japan. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the American Mathematical Society and he just received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2023.

Ooguri's popular science books have sold over 300,000 copies in Japan, and one of them was awarded the Kodansha Prize for Science Books. He also supervised a science movie, which was selected for the Best Educational Production Award from the International Planetarium Society and which will be shown at the public talk during the ASC lecture series.

Room A348 - Faculty of Physics - LMU - Theresienstr. 37, 80333 München and via Zoom