School of Mathematical Sciences

External Seminar: Marc Geiller (Perimeter Institute)

Physics B21
Thursday 17th May 2018 (14:00-15:00)
Steffen Gielen

[Mathematical Physics Seminar]

Marc Geiller (Perimeter Institute)

Boundary degrees of freedom in gauge theory and gravity

Although the physical relevance of boundary degrees of freedom (or edge modes) has been appreciated for a long time, for example in condensed matter and 3d gravity, there is still no general and unified framework for understanding their appearance, their dynamics, and their possible physical implications. In this talk we will show that a proper understanding of gauge transformations in local spatial regions with boundaries requires the construction of an extended phase space containing extra boundary fields. After motivating why this extension of the phase space is necessary both in classical and quantum theories, we will walk successively through the examples of theories having Abelian, non-Abelian, and diffeomorphism gauge symmetry. We will finish by discussing the relevance of this construction for the study of entanglement and quantum gravity in finite regions.

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