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“Gravity in extra dimensions and the numerically construction of black hole solutions”

Toby Wiseman, Imperial College, London

Wednesday, April 20, 2011 at 3:30 p.m.
(Refreshments at 3:00 pm)
327 McVey Hall


Modern ideas in theoretical physics and string theory have lead there to be much interest in extra dimensions of spacetime for two reasons. Firstly string theory postulates that our universe actually has these extra dimensions. Secondly, the recent `AdS-CFT' correspondence means that understanding gravity in extra dimensions is equivalent to understanding certain field theories in particle physics which cannot be understood using conventional methods due to being strongly coupled. After briefly reviewing both these motivations I will discuss how gravity behaves quite differently in the presence of extra dimensions. In particular there is a zoo of black hole solutions which generically require numerical methods to find. I shall then discuss how to formulate the problem of solving the Einstein equations for static and stationary black holes using elliptic numerical methods, and geometric techniques familiar from Ricci flow.