Fields, Strings and Geometry Group
The group members are primarily interested in fundamental aspects of quantum field theory, string theory and general relativity, and in the interplay between mathematics and physics in these theories.
Quantum field theory is a framework that combines the laws of quantum mechanics and special relativity in a self-consistent manner, and underpins most of theoretical physics today. General relativity is a highly successful theory describing gravity at large scales such as the solar system but, so far, it has remained incompatible with the laws of quantum mechanics.
Over the past thirty years, string theory has emerged as the leading candidate for a theory describing all the fundamental forces of nature, including gravity, in a single unified self-consistent quantum mechanical framework. It assumes that all particles are different harmonics of small vibrating strings, much in the way the different harmonics of a guitar string correspond to different musical notes. Surprisingly, even though it started as a theory of just strings, it also accommodates consistently in a non-perturbative manner higher-dimensional extended objects called branes.
There is a rich and fruitful interplay between quantum field theory and string theory, and mathematics. New and sophisticated mathematical techniques have rendered many problems in string theory and quantum field theory tractable and in certain cases even exactly soluble. Conversely, string theory has also led to striking advances and conjectures in mathematics.
It is this synthesis between theoretical physics and mathematics that forms the foundation of the group's research.
The group's research interests include the following:
- String Compactifications and Mirror Symmetry
- Black Holes
- Brane Solutions
- AdS/CFT Duality
- Topological String Theory
- Twistor Geometry
- Geometric Analysis.
There are several external funding sources through various funding agencies (e.g. the EPSRC and STFC).
- Andrea Fontanella, Black horizons and integrability in string theory, University of Surrey, 2018 (supervisor: Jan Gutowski).
- Antonio Pittelli, Dualities and integrability in low dimensional AdS/CFT, University of Surrey, 2016 (supervisors: Alessandro Torrielli and Martin Wolf).
- Fabrizio Nieri, Integrable structures in supersymmetric gauge theories, University of Surrey, 2015 (supervisor: Sara Pasquetti).
- Bicocca-Surrey School on Prospects in Strings, Fields and Related Topics (17-21 September 2018)
- LMS-EPSRC Durham Symposium on Higher Structures in M-theory (12-18 August 2018)
- 11th Meeting of the South-East Mathematical Physics Seminars (28 March 2018)
- String Geometry, Supersymmetric Theories and Dualities Conference (3-4 July 2017)
- International Meeting on Non-Regular Spacetime Geometry (20-22 June 2017)
- GGI Workshop on New Developments in AdS3/CFT2 Holography (20 March - 12 May 2017).