HMC Physics Colloquium

Tuesdays at 16:30 in Shanahan Center for Teaching and Learning, Room B460

Vatche Sahakian

Harvey Mudd College

On Grave Matters About Gravity

Oct. 5, 2010

A few months ago, Erik Verlinde, a string theorist from the Netherlands, conjectured a new principle in physics — one with potential to ruin the careers and lives of many physicists... In short, Verlinde proposes that gravity is really not a force! The claim is inspired from works in general relativity and string theory during the past decades, but can actually be excised from both and be seen instead as a counterpoint. And it is surprisingly simple and easy to understand. But is it correct? Or, as Niels Bohr would say, is this idea crazy but not crazy enough to be true? I will present a critical look of this conjecture.