Sydney CPPC Seminar 14th July 2022
Sebastian Murk (Macquarie U.): Black holes and their horizons in semiclassical and modified theories of gravity
Abstract: Our physical understanding of the world currently rests on two fundamental frameworks: general relativity, which describes gravitational interactions, and quantum field theory, which describes all non-gravitational interactions. While both theories have been spectacularly successful in predicting physical phenomena within their respective domains of validity, foundational differences imply that they cannot be simultaneously correct. This is not only unsatisfactory from a logical viewpoint, but implies that we lack predictive power in the regime where both gravitational and quantum effects simultaneously play a role, such as the physics of black holes, early universe cosmology, and spacetime geometry at the Planck scale. My talk will focus on our understanding of black holes in the frameworks of semiclassical and modified theories of gravity. Despite the lack of a fully developed theory of quantum gravity, these two theoretical frameworks allow us to incorporate quantum effects into the gravitational dynamics of black holes, which is of crucial importance for a complete description of their evolution and includes processes such as their formation and possible evaporation. I will introduce core concepts and present an overview of interesting recent developments and new results.