Video from Foundations of Cosmology and Quantum Gravity meeting published!

We are very happy to announce the first set of talks from the conference that we co-organized in January 2020, held at NYU Abu Dhabi. So far talks by: Daniele Oriti, Baptiste Le Bihan, Béatrice Bonga, James Read, Chris Smeenk, Robert Brandenberger, and Mairi Sakellariadou, with more to follow soon. Go to our YouTube channel.

“Out of Nowhere” chapters available!

To the many of you who have asked ‘when our book would be finished’, I am happy to say that we have started posting draft chapters on the website! The book is title Out of Nowhere: The Emergence of Spacetime in Quantum Theories of Gravity, and so far chapters on causal set theory and string theory are available. Follow the ‘Publications &c’ tab, or click here. More chapters as they are finished. Enjoy!

Beyond Spacetime collection published!

We are very happy to announce that the first of a pair of volumes of papers from our project has been published! Many of the papers are from talks we haver organized or our annual essay contest. The full table of contents is here. You can access it online today, and the print version will follow soon (it already exists, but has not reached the stores yet). Many, many thanks to our contributors!



Talk: Wednesday May 6th – Andrew Geraci

• Wednesday 6 May 2020 at UIC at 09:30 (14:30 UTC) – Andrew Geraci (Northwestern): Searching for “Fifth-forces”, Dark Matter, and Quantum Gravity in the Lab

We normally think of large accelerators and massive detectors when we consider the frontiers of elementary particle physics, pushing to understand the universe at higher and higher energy scales. However, several tabletop low-energy experiments are positioned to discover a wide range of new physics beyond the Standard model of particle physics, where feeble interactions require precision measurements rather than high energies.  In high vacuum, optically-levitated dielectric nanospheres achieve excellent decoupling from their environment, making force sensing at the zeptonewton level (10-21 N) achievable.  In this talk I will describe our progress towards using these sensors for tests of the Newtonian gravitational inverse square law at micron length scales.  Optically levitated dielectric objects and show promise for a variety of other applications, including searches for gravitational waves and Dark Matter.  Cooling these objects into the quantum regime of their motion paves the way for tests of quantum coherence in macroscopic objects and tests of whether gravity can destroy such coherence. Looking forward, these systems may enable us to examine the role that gravity plays in quantum mechanical entanglement.

In terms of technical difficulty, this talk rates 2/52. (Except for a more technical part at the end!)

Zoom Meeting ID: 980 9933 8823
Password: 4J?9eEs3

Or livestream on our YouTube channel:

Curiel talk this Thursday!

• Thursday 30 April 2020 at Geneva at 16:15 (14:15 UTC) – Erik Curiel (LMU Munich): On the mathematical, physical, and conceptual cogency of quantum field theory on curved spacetime

Quantum field theory on curved spacetime (QFT-CST) is the framework within which our current theories about quantum effects around black holes are formulated.  The results of their study, including most famously the Hawking effect and its infamous spawn the information-loss paradox, have revealed several surprises that threaten to overturn the views of space, time, and matter that general relativity and quantum field theory each on their own suggests.  In partiular, they appear to point to a deep and hitherto unsuspected connection among our three most fundamental theories, general relativity, quantum field theory and thermodynamics.  As such, work in QFT-CST provides some of the most important, central, and fruitful fields of study in theoretical physics, bringing together workers from a variety of fields such as cosmology, general relativity, quantum field theory, particle physics, fluid dynamics, condensed matter, and quantum gravity, providing bridges that now closely connect disciplines once seen as largely independent.  The framework, however, has serious mathematical, physical and conceptual problems.  In this talk, I will provide a sketch of the framework and a survey of some of the most important problems it faces.

In terms of technical difficulty, this talk rates 4/5 4.

The meeting is open to all and will be held over ZOOM (, with the meeting ID 286-342-072. This will be the meeting ID for all our Thursday seminars this semester. In order to directly join, please use
We will record this meeting, and plan to livestream it on our Youtube channel ‘Beyond Spacetime:
Anyone is welcome to participate!