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Physics & Astronomy Seminar: On Gravitational Theories – Conformal Gravity vs. General Relativity
November 8, 2019 @ 1:30 pm
Since its introduction in 1915, Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity (GR) has endured as the most successful description of gravitation. It predicts phenomena unable to be reconciled with Newtonian gravity, including the precise gravitational lensing, the precession of Mercury’s orbit, and gravitational waves — all of which have been experimentally confirmed. However, more recent measurements have disputed the validity of GR at larger scales due to discrepancies in measured galactic rotation curves and the accelerated expansion of the Universe — and on a more theoretical basis, GR’s inability to be quantised. Theorists have thus come up with alternatives that attempt to remedy these problems — one particular group of which are called Conformal Gravity (CG) theories. CG theories are invariant under conformal Weyl transformations, unlike GR and the Standard Model. They also may be able to solve the dark matter and dark energy problems without the ad hoc addition of new terms in the equations. Finally, CG theories contain an alternative spontaneous symmetry breaking mechanism for the dynamical generation of mass and may also serve as a potential candidate for a quantum theory of gravity.