The 2,411th Meeting of the Society

September 6, 2019 at 8:00 PM

Powell Auditorium at the Cosmos Club

Quantum Gravity

It's Different and Why

Jared Kaplan

Associate Professor of Physics
Johns Hopkins University

Sponsored by PSW Science Member Carl Merril

About the Lecture

All of the fundamental forces of nature follow the laws of quantum mechanics, except one: gravity. Incorporating gravity with the electromagnetic, weak and strong forces into a single model is one of the greatest challenges facing modern physics.

This lecture will explain why unifying quantum mechanics with gravity requires a radically new perspective on nature. It will outline how physicists have successfully followed a reductionist program to build the Standard Model of physics, which describes all of the other known forces of nature. It will then explain why black hole thermodynamics and other considerations have led to the idea of “holography,” which suggests that some of the universe’s dimensions may be, on a fundamental level, an approximation and an illusion.

About the Speaker

Jared Kaplan is Associate Professor of Physics at Johns Hopkins University. He has been a visiting Professor at the Stanford Institute for Theoretical Physics and the Physics Department at the University of California – Davis. He was a Research Associate at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford University.

He is a theoretical physicist with broad interests in effective field theory, particle physics, cosmology, scattering amplitudes, and the conformal field theory (CFT) bootstrap. His present research uses CFT to learn about quantum gravity via the AdS/CFT correspondence. Recently he has also been collaborating with both physicists and computer scientists on Machine Learning research.

Among other honors and award, Jared is the recipient of a grant from the Simons Collaboration on the Non-Perturbative Bootstrap, an NSF CAREER Grant and a Johns Hopkins Catalyst Award. He was an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow and a Kavli Fellow, as well as the recipient of the Hertz Foundation Graduate Fellowship, a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, and the James Mills Pierce Fellowship of Harvard University.

Jared has authored numerous peer-reviewed publications, organized several technical conferences, and has given many invited lectures.

He earned a BS in Physics and Mathematics at Stanford University and PhD in Physics at Harvard University where his PhD advisor was Nima Arkani-Hamed.