Quantum Gravity, Strings and Quantum Field Theory

Members: Vishnu Jejjala, Robert de Mello Koch, Joao Rodrigues, Kevin Goldstein, Shinji Hirano, Konstantions Zoubos, Sanjaye Ramgoolam, Alan Cornell,

The main areas of research of the program include quantum gravity, quantum field theory and string theory. Our focus is on the non-perturbative properties of quantum gravity, that is, the quantum gravity dynamics that cannot be obtained by studying fluctuations around flat spacetime. This regime of the theory is expected to govern the fundamental physics at extremely high energies, that is, at the Planck scale.

Members of our group have contributed a number of important results to this...

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Astrophysics

Members: Fabio Frescura,

Pulsars are key objects in astrophysics. In them, matter exists under conditions so extreme that we cannot even begin to imagine how they might be realised in any laboratory. They are superdense remnants of stellar collapse which contain a mass of approximately 1.5 suns compressed into a ball approximately 15 km in diameter, and which spin at rates that range from once per second to as much as 750 times per second. Their surface is solid crystalline iron, and would ring like a bell were it to...

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Condensed Matter

Members: Alex Quandt, Daniel Joubert, Izak Snyman, Robert Warmbier,

Density Functional Theory (DFT) is a general approach to the ab initio description of quantum many-particle systems, in which the original many-body problem is rigorously recast in the form of an auxiliary single-particle problem. For the most simple case of (nondegenerate) stationary problems, DFT is based on the fact that any ground state observable is uniquely determined by the corresponding ground state density n, i.e. can be understood as a functional of n. This statement applies in part...

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