LTT: M. Schneider
April 13 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Mike Schneider, Center Post-Doc Fellow
Empty Space and the (positive) Cosmological Constant
This will be an online lecture held via Zoom, and pre-registration is required. Register here: https://pitt.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_D-4dbauiT82yJBqWzPWywA
ABSTRACT: I will discuss empty space, as it appears in the physical foundations of relativistic field theories. Of particular interest is the popular idea that there is some freedom available, in the case of a positive cosmological constant, for physicists to pick between two inequivalent spacetime representations of empty space, moving forward: de Sitter spacetime or its ‘elliptic’ cousin. On one reckoning, this freedom stems from a manifestly physical claim: that there exists an expected correspondence or duality between the two settings for field theories, in the low-energy study of matter. Against this view, I will argue that the freedom named is rather a freedom to utterly postpone justification to a future theory of matter, for having picked either one spacetime setting over the other, in the course of ongoing research.