Could space and time have arisen by quantum tunnelling out of nothing?
25 April 2019, 3pm
Dr. Jean-Luc Lehners, Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute)
Department of Philosophy, Building B Room B7/1140 Campus UAB
This video is part of the PROTEUS project that has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (Grant agreement No. 758145)
The expansion of the universe has a remarkable consequence: in our past there must have been an extreme event that we call the big bang. At this event, general relativity breaks down. Almost as old as the idea of the big bang itself is the suggestion that the big bang might have been the beginning of the universe, i.e. not just the beginning of matter but also the beginning of space and time. I will report on recent attempts to describe such a process in quantum cosmology, highlighting conceptual features.
Jean-Luc Lehners (born 1978 in Luxembourg) studied physics and mathematics at Imperial College London and at the University of Cambridge. He obtained his Ph.D. in 2005 at Imperial College for his research on braneworlds in supergravity. After holding postdoctoral positions at the University of Cambridge, Princeton University and the Perimeter Institute, he established the Theoretical Cosmology group at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute) in Potsdam in 2010. Dr. Lehners is the recipient of both an ERC Starting Grant (2010) and a Consolidator Grant (2017). He works on early universe cosmology, with a particular emphasis on the big bang as well as on quantum effects in cosmology.