Emergent black hole physics from conformal field theory thermodynamics

Gideon Vos

Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)

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The largest outstanding puzzle in theoretical physics at the moment is the mystery of how Einstein's theory of gravity is compatible with the rules of quantum mechanics. Back in the 1970s it was shown by Jacob Bekenstein and Stephen Hawking that the existence of black holes indicates that this is not just an academic problem but a serious shortcoming in our understanding of gravity. But in a field of work started in 1997 it was shown that in some cases this problem of quantum gravity can be reduced to the study of a certain class of equivalent mathematical models.

In this thesis the thermodynamics of such a class of mathematical models is studied (so-called semi-classical Conformal Field Theories or CFTs) and it is shown that the thermodynamical properties of these models match the properties expected of black hole physics in the large scale regime in a hypothetical two dimensional universe. This includes a phase transition that mimics the distinction between matter distribution that will and those that won't ultimately collapse to black holes.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of Groningen
  • Papadodimas, Kyriakos, Supervisor
  • Bergshoeff, Eric, Supervisor
Award date18-Oct-2019
Place of Publication[Groningen]
Print ISBNs978-94-034-2007-3
Electronic ISBNs978-94-034-2006-6
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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