Talks by Flavio Mercati

Kappa-Minkowski: physics with noncommutative time

Flavio Mercati University of Naples Federico II
The kappa-Minkowski noncommutative spacetime has been studied for a long time as an example of quantum spacetime with nontrivial commutation relations between spatial and temporal coordinates which, at first sight, seem to break Poincaré invariance. However kappa-Minkowski is invariant under a Hopf-algebra deformation of the Poincaré group, which involves some noncommutative structures that prevent the sharp localization of reference frames.

Compact spherically symmetric solutions and gravitational collapse in SD

Flavio Mercati University of Naples Federico II
I will review the current status of our understanding of spherically symmetric compact solutions of Shape Dynamics, which have nontrivial degrees of freedom when matter is present. I will show some new solutions of GR in a CMC foliation: a single thin spherical shell of matter in equilibrium in a compact foliation of de Sitter, and the simplest possible model of a black hole or compact star. This is provided by a universe with the topology of a 3-sphere with two thin spherical shells of dust.

À la recherche du temps perdu - Templeton Frontiers Colloquia

Flavio Mercati University of Naples Federico II
Augustine of Hippo declared he knew what time is until someone asked him. After 16 centuries we still largely ignore the true essence of time, but we made definite progress in studying its properties. The most striking, and somewhat intuitively (and tragically) obvious one is the irreversibility of its flow. And yet, our fundamental theories are time-reversal invariant, they do not distinguish between past and future. This is usually accounted for by assuming an immensely special initial condition of the Universe, dressed with statistical arguments.

What is motion? What is time?

Flavio Mercati University of Naples Federico II
I give an account of the Machian approach to dynamics, from Mach's critique of Newton to the work of Barbour, Bertotti, York and O'Murchadha, which culminated in the theory of Shape Dynamics, a new and original way of thinking about General Relativity. I conclude commenting on the present research lines in Shape Dynamics, and the opportunity it offers to solve the problem of time in quantum gravity.

Support for this colloquium is provided by The Templeton Frontiers Program.

Shape Dynamics: Relativity Without Relativity

Flavio Mercati University of Naples Federico II
I review the best-matching construction,  and the striking properties of a Jacobi-type action first introduced by Baierelein, Sharp and Wheeler. The simplest theories compatible with such an action principle must have a universal light-cone and gauge symmetry. I also describe the implementation of three-dimensional conformal symmetries on the basis of the BSW action, which gives a first-principles derivation of York's solution of the initial value problem in General Relativity.

Relative Locality, Kappa-Poincaré and the Relativity Principle

Flavio Mercati University of Naples Federico II
I briefly introduce the recently introduced idea of relativity of locality, which is a consequence of a non-flat geometry of momentum space. Momentum space can acquire nontrivial geometrical properties due to quantum gravity effects. I study the relation of this framework with noncommutative geometry, and the Quantum Group approach to noncommutative spaces.