T. Padmanabhan - IUCAA

T. Padmanabhan
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T. Padmanabhan
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General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology (49)
 
High Energy Physics - Theory (44)
 
Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (20)
 
Quantum Physics (3)
 
Computer Science - Cryptography and Security (1)
 
Physics - Statistical Mechanics (1)

Publications Authored By T. Padmanabhan

A unique feature of gravity is its ability to control the information accessible to any specific observer. We quantify the notion of cosmic information ('CosmIn') for an eternal observer in the universe. Demanding the finiteness of CosmIn requires the universe to have a late-time accelerated expansion. Read More

We present a novel derivation of the boundary term for the action in Lanczos-Lovelock gravity, starting from the boundary contribution in the variation of the Lanczos-Lovelock action. The derivation presented here is straightforward, i.e. Read More

Earlier it was shown that the entropy of an ideal gas, contained in a box and moving in a gravitational field, develops an area scaling when it approaches the horizon of a static, spherically symmetric, spacetime. Here we extend the above result in two directions; viz., to (a) the stationary axisymmteric spacetimes and (b) time dependent cosmological spacetimes evolving asymptotically to the de Sitter or the Schwarzschild de Sitter spacetimes. Read More

I describe an approach which relates classical gravity to the quantum microstructure of spacetime. In this approach, the field equations arise from maximizing the density of states of the matter plus geometry. The former is identified using the thermodynamics of null surfaces. Read More

Our knowledge about the universe has increased tremendously in the last three decades or so --- thanks to the progress in observations --- but our understanding has improved very little. There are several fundamental questions about our universe for which we have no answers within the current, operationally very successful, approach to cosmology. Worse still, we do not even know how to address some of these issues within the conventional approach to cosmology. Read More

Null surfaces act as one-way membranes, blocking information from those observers who do not cross them (e.g., in the black hole and the Rindler spacetimes) and these observers associate an entropy (and temperature) with the null surface. Read More

It is generally believed that, when matter collapses to form a black hole, the complete information about the initial state of the matter cannot be retrieved by future asymptotic observers, through local measurements. This is contrary to the expectation from a unitary evolution in quantum theory and leads to (a version of) the black hole information paradox. Classically, nothing else, apart from mass, charge and angular momentum is expected to be revealed to such asymptotic observers after the formation of a black hole. Read More

I describe an approach which connects classical gravity with the quantum microstructure of spacetime. The field equations arise from maximizing the density of states of matter plus geometry. The former is identified using the thermodynamics of null surfaces while the latter arises due to the existence of a zero-point length in the spacetime. Read More

We study a dynamic version of the Unruh effect in a two dimensional collapse model forming a black hole. In this two-dimensional collapse model a scalar field coupled to the dilaton gravity, moving leftwards, collapses to form a black hole. There are two sets of asymptotic ($t\to\infty$) observers, around $x\to\infty$ and $x\to-\infty$. Read More

It is common knowledge that the Einstein-Hilbert action does not furnish a well-posed variational principle. The usual solution to this problem is to add an extra boundary term to the action, called a counter-term, so that the variational principle becomes well-posed. When the boundary is spacelike or timelike, the Gibbons-Hawking-York counter-term is the most widely used. Read More

I clarify the differences between various approaches in the literature which attempt to link gravity and thermodynamics. I then describe a new perspective based on the following features: (1) As in the case of any other matter field, the gravitational field equations should also remain unchanged if a constant is added to the Lagrangian; in other words, the field equations of gravity should remain invariant under the transformation $T^a_b \to T^a_b + \delta^a_b $(constant). (2) Each event of spacetime has a certain number ($f$) of microscopic degrees of freedom (`atoms of spacetime'). Read More

The equations of motion describing all physical systems, except gravity, remain invariant if a constant is added to the Lagrangian. In the conventional approach, gravitational theories break this symmetry exhibited by all other physical systems. Restoring this symmetry to gravity and demanding that gravitational field equations should also remain invariant under the addition of a constant to a Lagrangian, leads to the interpretation of gravity as the thermodynamic limit of the kinetic theory of atoms of space. Read More

General Relativity (GR) revolutionized the way we thought about gravity. After briefly describing the key successes of GR and its impact, I will discuss the major conceptual challenges it faces today. I conclude by outlining the prospective future directions of development, which hold the promise of deepening our understanding of the nature of gravity. Read More

The fact that the equations of motion for matter remain invariant when a constant is added to the Lagrangian suggests postulating that the field equations of gravity should also respect this symmetry. This principle implies that: (1) the metric cannot be varied in any extremum principle to obtain the field equations; and (2) the stress-tensor of matter should appear in the variational principle through the combination $T_{ab}n^an^b$ where $n_a$ is an auxiliary null vector field, which could be varied to get the field equations. This procedure selects naturally the Lanczos-Lovelock models of gravity in $D$-dimensions and Einstein's theory in $D=4$. Read More

The emergent gravity paradigm interprets gravitational field equations as describing the thermodynamic limit of the underlying statistical mechanics of microscopic degrees of freedom of the spacetime. The connection is established by attributing a heat density Ts to the null surfaces where T is the appropriate Davies-Unruh temperature and s is the entropy density. The field equations can be obtained from a thermodynamic variational principle which extremizes the total heat density of all null surfaces. Read More

The crux of the black hole information paradox is related to the fact that the complete information about the initial state of a quantum field in a collapsing spacetime is not available to future asymptotic observers, belying the expectations from a unitary quantum theory. We study the imprints of the initial quantum state contained in a specific class of distortions of the black hole radiation and identify the classes of in-states which can be partially/fully reconstructed from the information contained within. Even for the general in-state, we can uncover some specific information. Read More

It is generally believed that any quantum theory of gravity should have a generic feature --- a quantum of length. We provide a physical ansatz to obtain an effective non-local metric tensor starting from the standard metric tensor such that the spacetime acquires a zero-point-length $\ell _{0}$ of the order of the Planck length $L_{P}$. This prescription leads to several remarkable consequences. Read More

I introduce a covariant four-vector $\mathcal{G}^a[v]$, which can be interpreted as the momentum density attributed to the spacetime geometry by an observer with velocity $v^a$, and describe its properties: (a) Demanding that the total momentum of matter plus geometry is conserved for all observers, leads to the gravitational field equations. Thus, how matter curves spacetime is entirely determined by this principle of momentum conservation. (b) The $\mathcal{G}^a[v]$ can be related to the gravitational Lagrangian in a manner similar to the usual definition of Hamiltonian in, say, classical mechanics. Read More

Previous work has demonstrated that the gravitational field equations in all Lanczos-Lovelock models imply a thermodynamic identity TdS=dE+PdV (where the variations are interpreted as changes due to virtual displacement along the affine parameter) in the near-horizon limit in static spacetimes. Here we generalize this result to any arbitrary null surface in an arbitrary spacetime and show that certain components of the Einstein's equations can be expressed in the form of the above thermodynamic identity. We also obtain an explicit expression for the thermodynamic energy associated with the null surface. Read More

We solve the Klein-Gordon equation for a scalar field, in the background geometry of a dust cloud collapsing to form a black hole, everywhere in the (1+1) spacetime: that is, both inside and outside the event horizon and arbitrarily close to the curvature singularity. This allows us to determine the regularized stress tensor expectation value, everywhere in the appropriate quantum state (viz., the Unruh vacuum) of the field. Read More

Constructing a well-posed variational principle is a non-trivial issue in general relativity. For spacelike and timelike boundaries, one knows that the addition of the Gibbons-Hawking-York (GHY) counter-term will make the variational principle well-defined. This result, however, does not directly generalize to null boundaries on which the 3-metric becomes degenerate. Read More

The appearance of the inertial vacuum state in Rindler frame has been extensively studied in the literature, both from the point of view of QFT developed using Rindler foliation and using the response of an Unruh-Dewitt Detector (UDD). In comparison, less attention has been devoted to the study of inertial non-vacuum states when viewed from the Rindler frame. We provide a comprehensive study of this issue in this paper. Read More

Research during the last one decade or so suggests that the gravitational field equations in a large class of theories (including, but not limited to, general relativity) have the same status as the equations of, say, gas dynamics or elasticity. This paradigm provides a refreshingly different way of interpreting spacetime dynamics and highlights the fact that several features of classical gravitational theories have direct thermodynamic interpretation. I review the recent progress in this approach, achieved during the last few years. Read More

It is possible to obtain the gravitational field equations in a large class of theories from a thermodynamic variational principle which uses the gravitational heat density $\mathcal{S}_g$ associated with null surfaces. This heat density is related to the discreteness of spacetime at Planck scale, $L_P^2 = (G\hbar / c^3)$, which assigns $A_{\perp}/L_P^2$ degrees of freedom to any area $A_{\perp}$. On the other hand, it is also known that the surface term $K\sqrt{h}$ in the gravitational action principle correctly reproduces the heat density of the null surfaces. Read More

It has been shown in an earlier work [arXiv:1303.1535] that there exists a pair of canonically conjugate variables $(f^{ab},N^a_{bc})$ in general relativity which also act as thermodynamically conjugate variables on any horizon. In particular their variations $(f^{bc}\delta N^a_{bc}, N^a_{bc}\delta f^{bc})$, which occur in the surface term of the Einstein-Hilbert action, when integrated over a null surface, have direct correspondence with $(S\delta T,T\delta S)$ where $(T,S)$ are the temperature and entropy. Read More

In the case of general relativity one can interpret the Noether charge in any bulk region as the heat content $TS$ of its boundary surface. Further, the time evolution of spacetime metric in Einstein's theory arises due to the difference $(N_{sur}-N_{bulk})$ of suitably defined surface and bulk degrees of freedom. We show that this thermodynamic interpretation generalizes in a natural fashion to all Lanczos-Lovelock models of gravity. Read More

I show that in a general, evolving spacetime, the rate of change of gravitational momentum is related to the difference between the number of degrees of freedom in the bulk and the boundary of a region. This expresses the gravitational field equation in the thermodynamic language which is the natural description, if gravity is an emergent phenomenon. In all static spacetimes, the number of degrees of freedom in the boundary is equal to the number of degrees of freedom in the bulk; i. Read More

There is considerable evidence to suggest that the field equations of gravity have the same status as, say, the equations describing an emergent phenomenon like elasticity. In fact, it is possible to derive the field equations from a thermodynamic variational principle in which a set of normalized vector fields are varied rather than the metric. We show that this variational principle can arise as a low energy ($L_P = (G\hbar/c^3)^{1/2} \to 0$) relic of a plausible nonperturbative effect of quantum gravity, viz. Read More

We investigate the cause of the divergence of the entanglement entropy for the free scalar fields in $(1+1)$ and $(D + 1)$ dimensional space-times. In a canonically equivalent set of variables, we show explicitly that the divergence in the entanglement entropy of the continuum field in $(1 + 1)-$ dimensions is due to the accumulation of large number of near-zero frequency modes as opposed to the commonly held view of divergence having UV origin. The feature revealing the divergence in zero modes is related to the observation that the entropy is invariant under a hidden scaling transformation even when the Hamiltonian is not. Read More

Can certain degrees of freedom of a closed physical system, described by a time-independent Hamiltonian, become more and more classical as they evolve from some state? This question is important because our universe seems to have done just that! We construct an explicit, simple, example of such a system with just two degrees of freedom, of which one achieves `spontaneous classicalization'. It starts from a quantum state and under the usual Hamiltonian evolution, becomes more and more classical (in a well-defined manner in terms of the Wigner function) as time progresses. This is achieved without the usual procedures of integrating out a large number of environmental degrees of freedom or conventional decoherence. Read More

Observations indicate that our universe is characterized by a late-time accelerating phase, possibly driven by a cosmological constant $\Lambda$, with the dimensionless parameter $\Lambda L_P^2 \simeq 10^{-122}$, where $L_P = (G \hbar /c^3)^{1/2}$ is the Planck length. In this review, we describe how the emergent gravity paradigm provides a new insight and a possible solution to the cosmological constant problem. After reviewing the necessary background material, we identify the necessary and sufficient conditions for solving the cosmological constant problem. Read More

I show that the gravitational dynamics in a bulk region of space can be connected to a thermodynamic description in the boundary of that region, thereby providing clear physical interpretations of several mathematical features of classical general relativity: (1) The Noether charge contained in a bulk region, associated with a specific time evolution vector field, has a direct thermodynamic interpretation as the gravitational heat content of the boundary surface. (2) This result, in turn, shows that all static spacetimes maintain holographic equipartition; in these spacetimes, the number of degrees of freedom in the boundary is equal to the number of degrees of freedom in the bulk. (3) In a general, evolving spacetime, the rate of change of gravitational momentum is related to the difference between the number of bulk and boundary degrees of freedom. Read More

It is well known that Minkowski vacuum appears as a thermal bath in the Rindler spacetime when the modes on the left wedge are traced out. We introduce the concept of a Rindler-Rindler spacetime, obtained by a further coordinate transformation from the Rindler spacetime, in a manner similar to the transformation from inertial to Rindler frame. We show that the Rindler vacuum appears as a thermal state in the Rindler-Rindler frame. Read More

The existence of Davies-Unruh temperature in a uniformly accelerated frame shows that quantum fluctuations of the inertial vacuum state appears as thermal fluctuations in the accelerated frame. Hence thermodynamic experiments cannot distinguish between phenomena occurring in a thermal bath of temperature T in the inertial frame from those in a frame accelerating through inertial vacuum with the acceleration $a=2\pi T$. We show that this indisguishability between quantum fluctuations and thermal fluctuations goes far beyond the fluctuations in the vacuum state. Read More

We study the evolution of a quantum scalar field in a toy universe which has three stages of evolution, viz., (i) an early (inflationary) de Sitter phase (ii) radiation dominated phase and (iii) late-time (cosmological constant dominated) de Sitter phase. Using Schr\"odinger picture, the scalar field equations are solved separately for the three stages and matched at the transition points. Read More

Field theories in black hole spacetimes undergo dimensional reduction near horizon (in the Rindler limit) to two dimensional conformal field theories. We investigate this enhancement of symmetries in the context of gauge/gravity duality by considering Rindler space as boundary of Anti-de Sitter space in three spacetime dimensions. We show that the loxodromy conjugacy class of the SO(2,2) isometry group is responsible for generating the special conformal transformations on the boundary under RG flow. Read More

If gravity is an emergent phenomenon, as suggested by several recent results, then the structure of the action principle for gravity should encode this fact. With this motivation we study several features of the Einstein-Hilbert action and establish direct connections with horizon thermodynamics. We begin by introducing the concept of holographically conjugate variables (HCVs) in terms of which the surface term in the action has a specific relationship with the bulk term. Read More

It is possible to associate temperatures with the non-extremal horizons of a large class of spherically symmetric spacetimes using periodicity in the Euclidean sector and this procedure works for the de Sitter spacetime as well. But, unlike e.g. Read More

The current acceleration of the universe can be modeled in terms of a cosmological constant. We show that the extremely small value of \Lambda L_P^2 ~ 3.4 x 10^{-122}, the holy grail of theoretical physics, can be understood in terms of a new, dimensionless, conserved number CosMIn (N), which counts the number of modes crossing the Hubble radius during the three phases of evolution of the universe. Read More

Lanczos-Lovelock models of gravity represent a natural and elegant generalization of Einstein's theory of gravity to higher dimensions. They are characterized by the fact that the field equations only contain up to second derivatives of the metric even though the action functional can be a quadratic or higher degree polynomial in the curvature tensor. Because these models share several key properties of Einstein's theory they serve as a useful set of candidate models for testing the emergent paradigm for gravity. Read More

Thermal properties of a static horizon, (like the entropy S, heat content TS etc.) can be obtained either from the surface term of the Einstein-Hilbert action or by evaluating the Noether charge, corresponding to the diffeomorphisms generated by the timelike Killing vector field. We show that, for a wide class of geometries, the same results can be obtained using the vector field which produces an infinitesimal coordinate transformation between two physically relevant reference frames, viz. Read More

Observations indicate that the evolution of our universe can be divided into three epochs consisting of early time inflation, radiation (and matter) domination and the late time acceleration. One can associate with each of these epochs a number N which is the phase space volume of the modes which cross the Hubble radius during the corresponding epoch. This number turns out to be (approximately) the same for the cosmologically relevant ranges of the three epochs. Read More

I describe several conceptual aspects of a particular paradigm which treats the field equations of gravity as emergent. These aspects are related to the features of classical gravitational theories which defy explanation within the conventional perspective. The alternative interpretation throws light on these features and could provide better insights into possible description of quantum structure of spacetime. Read More

The contribution of Stream ciphers to cryptography is immense. For fast encryption, stream ciphers are preferred to block ciphers due to their XORing operation, which is easier and faster to implement. In this paper we present a matrix based stream cipher, in which a m x n binary matrix single handedly performs the work of m parallel LFSRs. Read More

There is sufficient amount of internal evidence in the nature of gravitational theories to indicate that gravity is an emergent phenomenon like, e.g, elasticity. Such an emergent nature is most apparent in the structure of gravitational dynamics. Read More

One possible interpretation of the holographic principle is the equality of the number of degrees of freedom in a bulk region of space and the number of degrees of freedom on the boundary surface. It is known that such an equality is maintained on equipotential surfaces in any static spacetime in the form of an equipartition law N_{bulk}= N_{sur}. In the cosmological context, the de Sitter universe obeys the same holographic equipartition. Read More

In the study of horizon thermodynamics and emergent gravity two natural expressions for energy, E= 2 TS (equipartition energy) and E=TS (Noether energy) arise which differ by a factor 2. I clarify the role of these two expressions in different contexts and show how E=TS is also closely related to the Noether charge arising from the boundary term of the Einstein-Hilbert action. Read More

An interesting feature of the Davies-Unruh effect is that an uniformly accelerated observer sees an isotropic thermal spectrum of particles even though there is a preferred direction in this context, determined by the direction of the acceleration g. We investigate the thermal fluctuations in the Unruh bath by studying the Brownian motion of particles in the bath, especially as regards to isotropy. We find that the thermal fluctuations are anisotropic and induce different frictional drag forces on the Brownian particle depending on whether it has a drift velocity along the direction of acceleration g or in a direction transverse to it. Read More

We describe a simple way of obtaining horizon entropy using the approach based on the Virasoro algebra and central charge. We show that the Virasoro algebra defined by the Noether currents corresponding to the surface term of gravitational action, for the diffeomorphisms which leave the horizon structure unaltered, has a central extension that directly leads to the horizon entropy. In this approach there are no ambiguities in the calculation of the central charge. Read More

We study quasi-stationary physical process for black holes within the context of Lanczos-Lovelock gravity. We show that the Wald entropy of stationary black holes in Lanczos-Lovelock gravity monotonically increases for quasi-stationary physical processes in which the horizon is perturbed by the accretion of positive energy matter and the black hole ultimately settles down to a stationary state. This result reinforces the physical interpretation of Wald entropy for Lanczos-Lovelock models and takes a step towards proving the analogue of the black hole area increase-theorem in a wider class of gravitational theories. Read More