Abstract:
We derive an uncertainty relation for two unitary operators which obey a commutation relation of the form UV=exp[i phi] VU. Its most important application is to constrain how much a quantum state can be localised simultaneously in two mutually unbiased bases related by a Discrete Fourier Transform. It provides an uncertainty relation which smoothly interpolates between the well known cases of the Pauli operators in 2 dimensions and the continuous variables position and momentum. This work also provides an uncertainty relation for modular variables, and could find applications in signal processing. In the finite dimensional case the minimum uncertainty states, discrete analogues of coherent and squeezed states, are minimum energy solutions of Harper's equation, a discrete version of the Harmonic oscillator equation.

Abstract:
We consider the quantum correlations, i.e. the entanglement, between two systems uniformly accelerated with identical acceleration a in opposite Rindler quadrants which have reached thermal equilibrium with the Unruh heat bath. To this end we study an exactly soluble model consisting of two oscillators coupled to a massless scalar field in 1+1 dimensions. We find that for some values of the parameters the oscillators get entangled shortly after the moment of closest approach. Because of boost invariance there are an infinite set of pairs of positions where the oscillators are entangled. The maximal entanglement between the oscillators is found to be approximately 1.4 entanglement bits.

Abstract:
We motivate through a detailed analysis of the Hawking radiation in a Schwarzschild background a scheme in accordance with quantum unitarity. In this scheme the semi-classical approximation of the unitary quantum - horizonless - black hole S-matrix leads to the conventional description of the Hawking radiation from a classical black hole endowed with an event horizon. Unitarity is borne out by the detailed exclusive S-matrix amplitudes. There, the fixing of generic out-states, in addition to the in-state, yields in asymptotic Minkowski space-time saddle-point contributions which are dominated by Planckian metric fluctuations when approaching the Schwarzschild radius. We argue that these prevent the corresponding macroscopic "exclusive backgrounds" to develop an event horizon. However, if no out-state is selected, a distinct saddle-point geometry can be defined, in which Planckian fluctuations are tamed. Such "inclusive background" presents an event horizon and constitutes a coarse-grained average over the aforementioned exclusive ones. The classical event horizon appears as a coarse-grained structure, sustaining the thermodynamic significance of the Bekenstein-Hawking entropy. This is reminiscent of the tentative fuzzball description of extremal black holes: the role of microstates is played here by a complete set of out-states. Although the computations of unitary amplitudes would require a detailed theory of quantum gravity, the proposed scheme itself, which appeals to the metric description of gravity only in the vicinity of stationary points, does not.

Abstract:
We study the mini--superspace quantization of spatially homogeneous (Bianchi) cosmological universes sourced by a Dirac spinor field. The quantization of the homogeneous spinor leads to a finite-dimensional fermionic Hilbert space and thereby to a multi-component Wheeler-DeWitt equation whose main features are: (i) the presence of spin-dependent Morse-type potentials, and (ii) the appearance of a q-number squared-mass term, which is of order ${\cal O}(\hbar^2)$, and which is affected by ordering ambiguities. We give the exact quantum solution of the Bianchi type-II system (which contains both scattering states and bound states), and discuss the main qualitative features of the quantum dynamics of the (classically chaotic) Bianchi type-IX system. We compare the exact quantum dynamics of fermionic cosmological billiards to previous works that described the spinor field as being either classical or Grassmann-valued.

Abstract:
We study the quantum dynamics of a supersymmetric squashed three-sphere by dimensionally reducing (to one timelike dimension) the action of D=4 simple supergravity for an SO(3)-homogeneous (Bianchi IX) cosmological model. The quantization of the homogeneous gravitino field leads to a 64-dimensional fermionic Hilbert space. The algebra of the supersymmetry constraints and of the Hamiltonian one is found to close. One finds that the quantum Hamiltonian is built from operators that generate a 64-dimensional representation of the (infinite-dimensional) maximally compact sub-algebra of the rank-3 hyperbolic Kac-Moody algebra AE_3. Some exponentials of these operators generate a spinorial extension of the Weyl group of AE_3 which describe (in the small wavelength limit) the chaotic quantum evolution of the universe near the cosmological singularity.

Abstract:
We compute the spectral index for scalar perturbations generated in a primordial inflationary model. In this model, the transition of the inflationary phase to the radiative era is achieved through the decay of the cosmological term leading a second order phase transition and the characteristics of the model allow to implement a set of initial conditions where the perturbations display a thermal spectrum when they emerge from the horizon. The obtained value for the spectral index is equal to 2, a result that depends very weakly on the various parameters of the model and on the initial conditions used.

Abstract:
We review the intimate connection between (super-)gravity close to a spacelike singularity (the “BKL-limit”) and the theory of Lorentzian Kac-Moody algebras. We show that in this limit the gravitational theory can be reformulated in terms of billiard motion in a region of hyperbolic space, revealing that the dynamics is completely determined by a (possibly infinite) sequence of reflections, which are elements of a Lorentzian Coxeter group. Such Coxeter groups are the Weyl groups of infinite-dimensional Kac-Moody algebras, suggesting that these algebras yield symmetries of gravitational theories. Our presentation is aimed to be a self-contained and comprehensive treatment of the subject, with all the relevant mathematical background material introduced and explained in detail. We also review attempts at making the infinite-dimensional symmetries manifest, through the construction of a geodesic sigma model based on a Lorentzian Kac-Moody algebra. An explicit example is provided for the case of the hyperbolic algebra E_10, which is conjectured to be an underlying symmetry of M-theory. Illustrations of this conjecture are also discussed in the context of cosmological solutions to eleven-dimensional supergravity.

Abstract:
We review the intimate connection between (super-)gravity close to a spacelike singularity (the "BKL-limit") and the theory of Lorentzian Kac-Moody algebras. We show that in this limit the gravitational theory can be reformulated in terms of billiard motion in a region of hyperbolic space, revealing that the dynamics is completely determined by a (possibly infinite) sequence of reflections, which are elements of a Lorentzian Coxeter group. Such Coxeter groups are the Weyl groups of infinite-dimensional Kac-Moody algebras, suggesting that these algebras yield symmetries of gravitational theories. Our presentation is aimed to be a self-contained and comprehensive treatment of the subject, with all the relevant mathematical background material introduced and explained in detail. We also review attempts at making the infinite-dimensional symmetries manifest, through the construction of a geodesic sigma model based on a Lorentzian Kac-Moody algebra. An explicit example is provided for the case of the hyperbolic algebra E10, which is conjectured to be an underlying symmetry of M-theory. Illustrations of this conjecture are also discussed in the context of cosmological solutions to eleven-dimensional supergravity.

Abstract:
We describe the space of (all) invariant deformation quantizations on the hyperbolic plane as solutions of the evolution of a second order hyperbolic differential operator. The construction is entirely explicit and relies on non-commutative harmonic analytical techniques on symplectic symmetric spaces. The present work presents a unified method producing every quantization of the hyperbolic plane, and provides, in the 2-dimensional context, an exact solution to Weinstein's WKB quantization program within geometric terms. The construction reveals the existence of a metric of Lorentz signature canonically attached (or `dual') to the geometry of the hyperbolic plane through the quantization process.

Abstract:
We investigate the quantum motion of a neutral Dirac particle bouncing on a mirror in curved spacetime. We consider different geometries: Rindler, Kasner-Taub and Schwarzschild, and show how to solve the Dirac equation by using geometrical methods. We discuss, in a first-quantized framework, the implementation of appropriate boundary conditions. This leads us to consider a Robin boundary condition that gives the quantization of the energy, the existence of bound states and of critical heights at which the Dirac particle bounces, extending the well-known results established from the Schrodinger equation. We also allow for a nonminimal coupling to a weak magnetic field. The problem is solved in an analytical way on the Rindler spacetime. In the other cases, we compute the energy spectrum up to the first relativistic corrections, exhibiting the contributions brought by both the geometry and the spin. These calculations are done in two different ways. On the one hand, using a relativistic expansion and, on the other hand, with Foldy-Wouthuysen transformations. Contrary to what is sometimes claimed in the literature, both methods are in agreement, as expected. Finally, we make contact with the GRANIT experiment. Relativistic effects and effects that go beyond the equivalence principle escape the sensitivity of such an experiment. However, we show that the influence of a weak magnetic field could lead to observable phenomena.