"Holography and the collision of gravitational waves in asymptotically AdS_5 spacetime"

Presented by Paul Chesler, MIT

Friday, February 25, 2011, 2:00 pm — Small Seminar Room, Bldg. 510

In recent years holography has emerged as a powerful tool to study non-equilibrium phenomena in certain quantum theories, mapping challenging quantum dynamics onto the classical dynamics of gravitational fields in one higher dimension. One interesting process which can be addressed with holography is the collision of sheets of matter in strongly coupled non-Abelian gauge theories. The collision results in the creation of a quark-gluon plasma which at late times behaves as a nearly ideal liquid. In the dual gravitational description, this process maps onto the process of gravitational collapse and black hole formation in asymptotically AdS_5 spacetime. I will describe how one can use techniques from numerical relativity to study this process.