This project is about turning a vision of the universe based on analogy into a novel rigorous understanding of it. We want to prove that full cosmological dynamics, including the dynamics of the background spacetime, can be reproduced in analogue gravity models in quantum fluids, despite being described by non-generally covariant hydrodynamic equations. A key conceptual ingredient will be the relational perspective on gravitational physics, based on physical rather than coordinate frames. We will identify hydrodynamic equations that can be mapped to cosmological dynamics and extracted from fundamental quantum gravity models as the collective dynamics of non-spatiotemporal entities, as recently achieved in the group field theory formalism, while at the same time corresponding to the hydrodynamics of realistic quantum fluids. A key tool will be the recently discovered hidden dynamical symmetries shared by both hydrodynamics and relativistic cosmologies.
Based on these findings, we intend to build a complete dictionary between non-relativistic fluid mechanics and relativistic cosmology solidly grounded in quantum gravity models and field space symmetries. This dictionary shall provide a new background independent interpretation of analogue gravity, addressing one of the main open issues in this research area, opening the path to reproduce a fully quantum universe in the lab, using suitable quantum fluids. By doing so, the analogy of the universe as a quantum many-body system will become a concrete reality.
This research plan stands at the interface between theoretical cosmology, quantum gravity, mathematical physics and analogue gravity, with the aim to connect the recent developments in each field to build a coherent picture of the emergent universe. Funding is requested mainly to hire a postdoctoral researcher, to work within an interdisciplinary research collaboration based at LMU-Munich at a new intellectual frontier.