VCQ Colloquium Talk by Abhay Ashtekar on 16th January 2023


"On the Quantum Nature of the Coulombic Interaction"

VCQ Colloquium Talk by Abhay Ashtekar on 16th January 2023


We are glad to present  


Abhay Ashtekar

The Pennsylvania State University


Monday, 16th January 2023 at 17:00

Lise-Meitner Lecture Hall, Boltzmanngasse 5, 1090 Vienna


On the Quantum Nature of the Coulombic Interaction


The interface between Quantum Information and Quantum Field Theory – especially Quantum Gravity – is emerging as a forefront area of fundamental physics. But there is some tension between the way the basic concept of ‘locality’ is commonly understood by the two communities. This tension descends to the issues of interpretation of precisely what would be tested by experiments that have been proposed to probe the quantum nature of gravity. Recall that Hilbert spaces H_grav and H_ph of gravitons and photons know only about the ‘radiative modes of the gravitational and electromagnetic fields. But matter sources also give rise to ‘Coulombic modes. Are the ‘Coulombic parts of the gravitational and electromagnetic fields produced by quantum matter also quantum mechanical, then? If so, in what sense? The ‘Coulombic modes are not even ‘registered in the Hilbert spaces H_grav and H_ph! Will the proposed experiments directly test the quantum nature of the ‘radiative aspects or ‘Coulombic aspects? The talk will examine such elementary issues by drawing on an exactly soluble, non-perturbative quantum gravity model that is especially well-suited for this purpose.



get-together with drinks and snacks


VCQ Student talk


Colloquium talk by Abhay Ashtekar


Host: Markus Aspelmeyer


For further information and a Zoom link please visit:


The lecture series is organized by the Vienna Center for Quantum Science and Technology (VCQ).