Using a novel version of the gravitational path integral for compact spatial regions at a moment of time symmetry, I argue that a region of space can encode a larger one. In particular, I show that the entanglement entropy of a region of space equals the area of the boundary of the smallest region that contains it. The key insight is to include the effects of the gravitational edge modes associated with the region in the path integral. This result is consistent with a recent conjecture by Bousso and Penington.
The cosmic microwave background is a sensitive probe of early-Universe physics, and yet fundamental constants at recombination can differ from their present-day values due to degeneracies in the standard cosmological model. Such scenarios have been invoked to reconcile discrepant measurements of the present-day expansion rate, but even absent such motivation they raise the intriguing possibility of yet-undiscovered physics coupled directly to Standard Model particles. I will discuss theories in which a new scalar field shifts the electron's mass at early times; viable models are already stringently constrained by measurements of quasar absorption lines, the abundances of light elements, and the universality of free fall. I will show that the remaining parameter space is exactly that which allows not only the primary cosmic microwave background but also low-redshift distances to be consistent with observations. After presenting the results of parameter inference I will discuss additional cosmological and laboratory signatures of the model.
Costello, Witten and Yamazaki proposed a 4d Chern-Simons theory as a unified way to engineer integrable models. In the presence of 'Disorder' defects (for non-ultralocal 2d theories), this correspondence has been established only classically. As a first quantum check, I will derive the matching of 1-loop divergences between the 4d and 2d theories. My assumptions are general and seem to isolate sigma-models among the 2d theories. (Based on 2309.16753)