Quasinormal Modes and all that

I think those posts gave a pretty good and mostly comprehensible idea of how you make progress on a research question. However, both of those problems, “how does stuff work in de sitter space” were exploratory questions. Certainly not trivial or well trodden, but are not complete ideas. The real goal is to have a real theory behind how stuff interacts in de Sitter space. Didn’t we already do that, you ask? No, not quite, we just did one part of that.

I’m currently working through a recent paper that starts to do that called “Quasinormal Quantizations in de Sitter Spactime.” Wheras usually in physics “normal” modes are those regular particle states tat separate from each other, ‘quasinormal’ modes are particles that start to die off at large distances, which is intuitively what we would expect based on our previous discussion of space expanding ‘too quickly.’

However, where as my calculations were more on the intuitive side (“If there were a particle, it would do this…”) this paper is actually trying to come up with a consistent quantum theory in de sitter spacetime. That is harder to do, especially with these decaying quasinormal modes.

This paper is claiming that they can do this, at least with some mysterious “R-norm” of their invention, which is pretty mysterious as regular old norms are really what we’re all after.  They claim that these quasinormal modes make a basis of states with respect to this R-norm. But what does that really mean? To carry all of this stuff out and consistently quantize a theory takes all sorts of tools, especially representation theory. It’s not an easy task, and when you’re not getting the answers you’re looking for, you have to start being clever.

These are the questions I’m trying to answer. Definitely much more elaborate than the stuff I was previously talking about, but hopefully from those posts you got a feel for what physics research is about and how we tackle problems.


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