Fri, 13. May 2011 – 12:00

There is something very interesting coming up for this afternoon:

Insights black hole physics together with developments in string theory strongly indicate that inertial forces, including the gravitational force, arise from an underlying microscopic description of our universe in which there is no gravity. Starting from first principles we argue that gravity is a reaction force caused by the fact that changes in the positions of material objects influence the phase space volume associated with the microscopic system. Near event horizons the gravitational (or inertial) force degenerates into a thermodynamic entropic force, and becomes susceptible to thermal fluctuations. Application of these ideas to cosmology leads to surprising new insights into the nature of dark energy and dark matter.

The talk will be given by Erik Verlinde (Institute for Theoretical Physics, UvA), as part of the API colloquium. For those unable to attend and/or interested in some of the details, you might want to have a look at the paper available through arXiv.org.