Certainly the most fundamental question in physics - and arguably the most important - is how to unify gravity with quantum field theory (QFT). Most would take the view that somehow gravity has to be incorporated into some kind of QFT; this has led to string theory and other ideas such as loop gravity, extrapolated beyond even the Planck scale. Others instead take the view that all is not well with quantum mechanics, and that arguments like the measurement paradox or the black hole information paradox indicate that gravity may lead to a modification of quantum mechanics. These latter arguments suggest a failure of QFT at energies much lower than the Planck scale.
Either way, a search is underway for tests of the different theoretical approaches - ranging from tabletop optomechanical experiments to various cosmological observations. Neither General Relativity nor Quantum Mechanics has ever failed such tests - but at least some of the current theoretical ideas will soon be checked experimentally, and such tests may cast light (if not issue a verdict) on how to proceed.
This meeting will bring together theorists and experimentalists, with emphasis on surveying and discussing different approaches. Some of the themes to be covered include:
(i) The nature of the conflict between General Relativity and Quantum Field Theory
(ii) Black holes, information and entanglement; the physics around horizons
(iii) Current ideas in string theory and in loop gravity - efforts towards unification
(iv) Theories involving a breakdown of quantum theory
(v) Table-top experiments involving quantum mechanics and gravity
(vi) Quantum cosmology - theory and observation
The meeting will be held from Mon morning 17 Aug - Thu morning 20 Aug 2015, on Galiano island, one of the most beautiful of the Gulf islands; participants should arrive the previous day. For details on travel, the conference programme, the island, etc., go to the other pages on this site. Questions about the conference can be directed to the organizers; logistic questions, travel, etc., can be directed to Swarn Rai. It is important to register for the meeting - this will ensure your accommodation and meals.
M. Aspelmeyer (University of Vienna)
P. C. E. Stamp (University of British Columbia)
W. G. Unruh (University of British Columbia)
R. M. Wald (University of Chicago)
Swarn Rai (Pacific Inst. of Theoretical Physics)