Scanning New Horizons:GR Beyond 4 Dimensions

Coordinators: Luis Lehner, Donald Marolf, Robert C. Myers

Though our universe appears to have four dimensions, it is possible that additional dimensions will one day be discovered. Over seventy years ago, Kaluza and Klein, as well as Einstein, first entertained the idea of general relativity in higher dimensions as a route towards the unification of gravity with the other forces in nature. These nascent explorations laid foundations for the ongoing research program in superstrings and M-theory. The study of higher dimensional GR provides additional insight into the structure of these theories and has played an important role in advancing our understanding. Furthermore in the new brane-world scenarios, the extra dimensions can be much larger than the Planck scale and so in this context higher dimensional gravity may no longer be abstract mathematical exercise. Instead, one must take seriously the study of classical Einstein equations in higher dimensions to understand brane-world phenomenology and its experimental consequences.

In addition, valuable lessons have been learned by studying gravity in lower dimensions. In fact, many interesting questions in higher dimensional gravity reduce by symmetry to problems in 2+1 dimensions. Scanning New Horizons: GR Beyond 4 Dimensions aims to bring together researchers with an interest in general relativity in various dimensions and with a variety of backgrounds. The goal is a lively synergy between analytic and numerical methods and between physical intuition and mathematical rigor. Issues of particular interest will be the failure of black hole uniqueness in higher dimensions, the fate of black brane instabilities, and issues in 2+1 dimensions.