The 3rd Intensive Lecture by iTHEMS’ Quantum Gravity Gatherings concluded with resounding success. Around 30 enthusiasts, including students, junior and senior researchers from various disciplines, convened at the RIKEN Wako Campus to learn and discuss spinfoam quantum gravity.

Prof. Etera Livine from ENS Lyon, our distinguished lecturer this time, delivered a fantastic 3-day lecture about the spinfoam approach to quantum gravity (QG). He began with a wonderful introduction explaining why physicists have long sought the theory of quantum gravity: the ultimate theory that unifies physics at both macroscopic and subatomic scales. Prof. Livine highlighted various existing candidates for quantum gravity theory and forged connections among these diverse approaches. Regarding the main topic, he started with the basics of loop quantum gravity and clearly explained the origin of the fundamental discreteness of spacetime. In the latter half of his lecture, he detailed how to construct the spinfoam path integral for QG in 3D before moving on to the 4D case. He concluded his lecture by discussing the limitations of this approach and outlining future directions. Throughout his lecture, he consistently elaborated on the mathematical similarities between these QG approaches and other areas of physics, such as condensed matter physics. This allowed the audience to grasp the current advancements in the field, recognizing how their areas of expertise, seemingly distant from quantum gravity, could intricately interlace with it.

This event presented a great opportunity for fostering interdisciplinary research, as it brought together people with various interests, including physicists working on high-energy physics, gravity, cosmology, and condensed matter systems, as well as pure mathematicians. Everyone exhibited keen enthusiasm for quantum gravity, creating an atmosphere of unity and togetherness that permeated the room. Many interesting questions were posed during the lecture, and participants enthusiastically engaged in discussions during coffee breaks. Some of them also shared their stories and work during the short talk sessions, and everyone enjoyed the banquet on the second day. Overall, this event provided a relaxed and active platform for learning, offering an exceptional opportunity to strengthen connections and friendships among participants, particularly those in the early stages of their research careers.

Reported by Puttarak Jai-akson