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Particles and Strings in BF Theory and Gravity

QMAP Seminar

Speaker: Derek Wise, UC Davis
Location: 3240 MSB
Start time: Fri, Jan 11 2008, 3:10PM

'BF theory' is a topological gauge theory that is a natural generalization of 3d gravity to higher dimensions. After reviewing how particles can be included in a purely topological way in 3d gravity, I will show how this generalizes to both particles and 'strings' in 4d BF theory. I'll also explain how this idea may have implications for matter in full-fledged 4d quantum gravity, via the BF-reformulation of MacDowell-Mansouri gravity.