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**1 - 2**of**2**### COSMOLOGICAL MODELS OF MODIFIED GRAVITY

, 2013

"... The recent discovery of dark energy has prompted an investigation of ways in which the accelerated expansion of the universe can be realized. In this dissertation, we present two separate projects related to dark energy. The first project analyzes a class of braneworld models in which multiple brane ..."

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The recent discovery of dark energy has prompted an investigation of ways in which the accelerated expansion of the universe can be realized. In this dissertation, we present two separate projects related to dark energy. The first project analyzes a class of braneworld models in which multiple branes float in a five-dimensional anti-de Sitter bulk, while the second investigates a class of dark energy models from an effective field theory perspective. Investigations of models including extra dimensions have led to modifications of gravity involving a number of interesting features. In particular, the Randall-Sundrum model is well-known for achieving an amelioration of the hierarchy problem. However, the basic model relies on Minkowski branes and is subject to solar system constraints in the absence of a radion stabilization mechanism. We present a method by which a four-dimensional low-energy description can be obtained for braneworld scenarios, allowing for a number of generalizations to the original models. This method is applied to orbifolded and uncompactified N-brane models, deriving an effective four-dimensional action. The parameter space of this theory is constrained using observational evidence, and it is found that the generalizations do not weaken solar system constraints on the original model. Furthermore, we find that general

### Title of Document: QUANTUM MECHANICS AND QUANTUM INFORMATION THEORY

"... The principle aim of this dissertation is to investigate the philosophical application of quantum information theory to interpretational issues regarding the theory of quantum mechanics. Recently, quantum information theory has emerged as a potential source for such an interpretation. The main quest ..."

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The principle aim of this dissertation is to investigate the philosophical application of quantum information theory to interpretational issues regarding the theory of quantum mechanics. Recently, quantum information theory has emerged as a potential source for such an interpretation. The main question with which this dissertation will be concerned is whether or not an information-theoretic interpretation can serve as a conceptually acceptable interpretation of quantum mechanics. It will be argued that some of the more obvious approaches – that quantum information theory shows us that ultimately the world is made of information, and quantum Bayesianism – fail as philosophical interpretations of quantum mechanics. However, the information-theoretic approach of Clifton, Bub, and Halvorson introduces Einstein’s distinction between principle theories and constructive theories, arguing that quantum mechanics is best understood as an information-theoretic principle theory. While I argue that this particular approach fails, it does offer a viable new philosophical role for information theory. Specifically, an investigation of interpretationally successful principle theories such as Newtonian mechanics, special relativity, and general

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