- This event has passed.

**UNC-CH Physics and Astronomy Colloquium**

Simon Catterall, Syracuse University

**“Holography, Quantum Gravity And Black Holes On A Computer”**

Einstein’s theory of General Relativity provides a beautiful and well tested classical theory of gravity that describes the Universe at large distance scales.

However to understand what happens at the Big Bang or close to the center of a black hole requires that the theory be merged with quantum mechanics. The search for such a quantum theory of gravity has proven very difficult but there are now strong indications that any such theory must be holographic in nature; a complete description of the gravitational dynamics inside some region of space can be inferred from degrees of freedom living on the boundary of that space. String theory gives a concrete realization of that process in certain cases and allows us to figure out the properties of certain black holes in curved space from calculations in a theory without gravity living at the boundary of that space. Since these boundary theories are strongly interacting it is natural to study them using computer simulation. I will discuss some of the results that can be obtained using these methods.