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Mini-Workshop on the Foundations of Shape Dynamics

23.06.2014 18:15  – 19:45 

General Information

Sean Gryb (Nijmegen) and Tim Koslowski (New Brunswick)
18:15 - 19:45 Monday 23rd June

Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy, LMU Munich
Ludwigstr. 31/0 room 021

No registration necessary!


An Introduction to Shape Dynamics: a New Perspective on Quantum Gravity
Sean Gryb (Nijmegen)

Shape Dynamics is a theory of gravity where the fundamental ontology is that of evolving conformally invariant spatial geometry. This implements a notion of local spatial scale invariance such that what is seen to be physically meaningful is the information about the local "shapes" (as opposed to size) of a system. Perhaps surprisingly, this theory can be proven to reproduce a vast number of the solutions to the Einstein equations. However, black hole solutions are known to differ from those of GR past the horizon and do not lead to singularities. Shape Dynamics, thus, provides an intriguing new starting point for a theory of quantum gravity. In this introductory chalkboard talk, I will try to give some motivations for Shape Dynamics and will describe the basic structure of the theory, outlining how one can prove equivalence with GR. This will lay the ground work for Tim Koslowski's talk, which will discuss some recent developments of the theory.

Recent Work in Shape Dynamics
Tim Koslowski (New Brunswick)

Based on the introduction to shape dynamics by Sean Gryb, I will discuss the question: "Given that gravity (from the perspective of shape dynamics) is fundamentally the evolution of spatial conformal geometry and not spacetime: How is the arrow of time generated? How is the illusion of a spacetime generated? What are the limitations of the spacetime description? I will give explicit answers to several aspect of these questions and I will explain where the uncharted territory begins.

Selected Papers

Einstein gravity as a 3D conformally invariant theory
Henrique Gomes, Sean Gryb, Tim Koslowski.
Quant.Grav. 28 (2011) 045005
arXiv:1010.2481 [gr-qc] |

Frequently asked questions about Shape Dynamics
Henrique Gomes, Tim Koslowski.
Found.Phys. 43 (2013) 1428-1458
arXiv:1211.5878 [gr-qc]

A Gravitational Origin of the Arrows of Time
Julian Barbour, Tim Koslowski, Flavio Mercati.
arXiv:1310.5167 [gr-qc]