Wednesday, January 27, 2016

How to give a good talk and avoid common mistakes

Recently, I became aware of a large amount of literature and tutorials online about how to prepare proper slides for talks. While I was paying attention on certain aspects of my slides previously, it occurred to me that there were still many crucial problems in the slides I prepared so far, which must have unnecessarily hindered people in following what I was trying to say. My two ILQGS talks from 2013 and 2015 serve as a good example of the different approach to preparing slides, the 2015 one was my first talk prepared taking into account some of the points that I will discuss below.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Anti de Sitter spaces from finite Spin Networks

This video is my first example of a “short talk”, a presentation intended to quickly outline the main idea of a paper while skipping as much technicalities as possible. The interested reader can then consult the paper for more details.

This option seems more useful to me than trying to press too many technicalities in a talk, especially given that nowadays it is practically impossible to follow all interesting developments at a reasonable technical level.

I hope to generate more of these short presentations in the future, also taking into account some of my older papers.

I heard of this idea originally in some invitation to provide such a presentation for the PLB homepage, were it is implemented as a system called “AudioSlides”.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Late registration for Tux 2016

There are still a few places left for this year's Tux workshop on quantum gravity, February 15-19, including talk spots. If you are interested, please follow the instructions at the conference webpage.

Quantum Theory and Gravitation @ DPG Spring Meeting 2016 in Hamburg

This years spring meeting of the German Physical Society (DPG) will feature a symposium about quantum theory and gravitation. Plenary speakers include Abhay Ashtekar, Gerard 't Hooft, Markus Aspelmeyer, Hermann Nicolai, Renate Loll, and Christian W├╝thrich.

The conference will take place from 29.02.-04.03.2026, however the symposium talks are planned for Tuesday and Wednesday of that week. In addition, there will be regular contributed talks.

For more (or currently less) information, see the conference homepage.

Black hole entropy from loop quantum gravity: Generalized theories and higher dimensions (ILQGS)

Talk given at the International Loop Quantum Gravity Seminar (ILQGS) on October 1, 2013.

Slides (PDF) are available at:

Based on the original research papers

- More discussion on the quantisation and the relation to entanglement entropy is discussed in

Symmetry reductions in loop quantum gravity based on classical gauge fixings (ILQGS)

Talk given at the International Loop Quantum Gravity Seminar (ILQGS) on December 8, 2015.

Slides (PDF) are available at:

Based on the original research papers

- On slide 10, an additional reference to should be added.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Do we really not have observables for GR?

One often hears or reads that we do not have observables for GR, except maybe for the ADM charges. For interpreting the theory, this sounds like a serious obstacle. However, the situation is by far not as bad as one might naively conclude form this statement, and conceptually in fact rather clear.