Division of Space-Time and Cosmology (STC)

Einstein’s theory of relativity, with its radical revision of the concepts of space and time, has been one of the most successful theories of the last century and is a cornerstone of the modern theoretical physics. However, possible violation of its underlying symmetries will open new doors for future research in the field of quantum gravity. If Lorentz invariance is violated at the Planck scale, there must be an interpolation to the low energy Lorentz invariant world we live in. Hence a small amount of Lorentz violation should be present at all energies. It is possible that quantum gravity may be Lorentz invariant but it contains tensor fields that acquire a vacuum expectation value at low energies, which spontaneously breaks the symmetry. Experiments carried out at low energies can therefore see the Lorentz violation. Therefore, any observation of the Lorentz violation can be an important signal of beyond standard model physics.

The activities in the division of Space-Time and Cosmology (STC) at ICTMP are focused on the study of alternative theories of gravity and their cosmological consequences. Currently, the main concern on our study is

  1. Modifying Gravity via Lorentz Violating Scalar-Vector-Tensor Theory, including modified Newtonian dynamics (MOND), interaction between scalar field dark energy and cosmic dark matter, Lorentz violation in black hole background and gravitational lensing.
  2. Alternative Model of Cosmology Based on String Theory, including Braneworld and string gas cosmology.
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