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). Visit our Doctoral College site for more information. If you would like to apply for any of these fellowships with us, please do contact any of the group's academic staff well ahead of the deadline.
The group is currently accepting PhD applications. Please refer to the department's PGR webpage for details as how to apply.