Quantum Geometry and Space-time Singularities

Prof. Abhay Ashtekar
Inst. for Gravitational Physics and Geometry, Penn State

General relativity provides a subtle and powerful interplay between gravity and geometry, thereby opening numerous possibilities for novel phenomena. However, this interplay also implies that the space-time itself ends when the gravitational field becomes singular. In loop quantum gravity, the interplay is elevated to the quantum regime through quantum geometry. I will present examples which suggest that the physical space-time does not end at singularities. Quantum geometry can serve as a bridge between vast space-time regions which are classically unrelated. Thus, contrary to one's initial intuition, ramications of quantum geometry can reach far beyond the Planck regime.