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Sumati Surya’s Webpage

I am a Professor of Theoretical Physics at the  Raman Research Institute .  I work in the area of  classical and quantum gravity and  have an associated interest in quantum foundations. 

The primary focus of  my work has been the Causal Set  approach to Quantum Gravity where the spacetime continuum is replaced by a locally finite partially ordered set. The approach is motivated by an important theorem in  Lorentzian geometry, the HKMM theorem which states that under very mild causality conditions the causal structure of a spacetime is equivalent to the conformal class of the spacetime.

The assumption of a fundamental spacetime discreteness provides the missing ingredient, namely the volume element or conformal factor.  The resulting discretisation of spacetime does not violate local Lorentz invariance but leads to non-locality. The most striking  phenomenological prediction from  this theory (Sorkin, 1987) is that of a fluctuating cosmological constant whose present day value matches that of observations.  

The universe in a leaf: The veins of a  leaf  look like an  “originary”  causal set  which  has a single element to the past of all others. In causal set theory, the universe is grown element by element, while respecting causality. 

I am also interested in  aspects of classical gravity related to Lorentzian geometry and causal structure.My collaborators include: Nomaan X, Abhishek Mathur, Fleur VersteegenStav ZalelYasaman Yazdi, Ian Jubb,Lisa Glaser, Will Cunningham, Astrid Eichhorn, David RideoutFay Dowker and Rafael Sorkin, among many others.

About the Raman Research Institute

The Raman Research Institute was established by the Nobel Laureate Sir CV Raman in 1948. It is funded by the Department of Science and Technology.