David Wallace
Pittsburg University

Quantum gravity at low energies

31st of March 2022 at 4pm CEST (10am EDT). 

I provide a conceptually-focused presentation of `low-energy quantum gravity’ (LEQG), the effective quantum field theory obtained from general relativity and which provides a well-defined theory of quantum gravity at energies well below the Planck scale. I emphasize the extent to which some such theory is required by the abundant observational evidence in astrophysics and cosmology for situations which require a simultaneous treatment of quantum-mechanical and gravitational effects, \emph{contra} the often-heard claim that all observed phenomena can be accounted for either by classical gravity or by non-gravitational quantum mechanics, and I give a detailed account of the way in which a treatment of the theory as fluctuations on a classical background emerges as an approximation to the underlying theory rather than being put in by hand. I discuss the search for a Planck-scale quantum-gravity theory from the perspective of LEQG and give an introduction to the Cosmological Constant problem as it arises within LEQG.