Overview of our research
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. So far, however, it has remained incompatible with the laws of quantum mechanics.
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.
Selected PhD theses
- Roberto Sisca, Heterotic vacua and their universal geometry, supervisor: Dr Jock McOrist
- Andrea Fontanella, Black horizons and integrability in string theory, supervisor: Dr Jan Gutowski
- Antonio Pittelli, Dualities and integrability in low dimensional AdS/CFT, supervisors: Dr Alessandro Torrielli and Dr Martin Wolf
- Fabrizio Nieri, Integrable structures in supersymmetric gauge theories, supervisor: Dr Sara Pasquetti