QCD Meets Gravity 2020

I’m at another Zoom conference this week, QCD Meets Gravity. This year it’s hosted by Northwestern.

The view of the campus from wonder.me

QCD Meets Gravity is a conference series focused on the often-surprising links between quantum chromodynamics on the one hand and gravity on the other. By thinking of gravity as the “square” of forces like the strong nuclear force, researchers have unlocked new calculation techniques and deep insights.

Last year’s conference was very focused on one particular topic, trying to predict the gravitational waves observed by LIGO and VIRGO. That’s still a core topic of the conference, but it feels like there is a bit more diversity in topics this year. We’ve seen a variety of talks on different “squares”: new theories that square to other theories, and new calculations that benefit from “squaring” (even surprising applications to the Navier-Stokes equation!) There are talks on subjects from String Theory to Effective Field Theory, and even a talk on a very different way that “QCD meets gravity”, in collisions of neutron stars.

With still a few more talks to go, expect me to say a bit more next week, probably discussing a few in more detail. (Several people presented exciting work in progress!) Until then, I should get back to watching!

3 thoughts on “QCD Meets Gravity 2020

  1. Andrew Oh-Willeke

    So, was this the moral equivalent of a single stage conference? Looking at the schedule, it doesn’t look there there was more than one presentation happening at any one time. Also, relatedly, five days seems like a long time for a fairly narrow and focused conference like this one. Did this get stretched out over more days because it was via Zoom without expense accounts and time away from family ticking away when it ordinarily would have been done in two or three days instead?

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    1. 4gravitons Post author

      I’ve never been to a conference with parallel sessions. My field (and by my field I don’t just mean amplitudes, but hep-th) is so small that even the biggest conferences (Strings for example) are usually “single-stage”.

      On the other end, our conferences are almost always five days long, unless they’re very very small workshops. The birthday Zoomference I attended a few weeks back was five days long, the Zoomference on integration methods I went to before that was five days long. Both were smaller than this one, and both were originally organized as in-person conferences so the length isn’t because they’re on Zoom. In the past I’ve been to three-day and two-day conferences, but they were typically either regional “conferences of convenience” (so, everyone in driving distance) or very focused workshops (focused not just on a single subfield but a single question within that subfield, with the expectation that almost everyone there could collaborate with everyone else).

      You might just be underestimating the breadth of topic of this one. Double-copy is a big subfield of amplitudes. It typically takes at least one full day at the Amplitudes conference, and usually bleeds over into a few of the other days.

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      1. Andrew Oh-Willeke

        FWIW, I think double-copy is the most exciting game in town in amplitudes, and I’m eager to get a chance to dig into papers on it when I get past the “everything for the year needs to be done before Christmas” hump.

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