Quantum Vacuum and Gravitation

Organizers: Manuel Asorey (Zaragoza Univ.), Emil Mottola (Los Alamos), Ilya Shapiro (Juiz de Fora Univ.), Andreas Wipf (Jena Univ.)

June 22 - 26, 2015, JGU Campus Mainz

The discovery of the accelerated expansion of the Universe confirmed the existence of dark energy in the universe which is presumably generated by a non-vanishing cosmological constant. Early attempts to link this fact to the vacuum sector of quantum field theory have failed because of the dramatic difference between the orders magnitude involved. The problem is similar to that of inflationary scenarios, where there is an increasing evidence that it is connected to quantum fluctuations and modified models of gravity. The recent discovery of the Higgs boson provides an extra support to the idea that scalar fields also play a fundamental role in Nature. There are other phenomena like Hawking radiation and inflationary mechanisms where the applications of quantum field theory to gravitation become very relevant.
The aim of the program is to analyze from a modern perspective quantum field-theoretical methods, like renormalization group and conformal anomalies, and their applications in astrophysics and cosmology with special focus on black hole physics and the study of analogue systems.