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 endeavour. In the last year, approaches employing the gauge theory/gravity correspondence have remained at the center of interest. In particular, we have initiated an approach to contructing a non-perturbative string field theory directly from the dual super Yang-Mills theory. This has been applied to reconstruct supergravity, as well as truly stringy features of quantum gravity on a pp-wave.

More recently, a study of operators dual to giant gravitons has been completed. Our results shed light on the question of probing the dual quantum gravity geometry using gauge theory operators.

Other topics of research carried out in the last year include the description of solitons in fermionic field theories by employing a systematic large N expansion, the study of non-perturbative (D-brane) physics in low dimensional string theory, the study of dualities between two-dimensional Yang-Mills theory and topological string theory as well as the study of amplitudes in twistor string theories dual to N=4 super Yang-Mills theory.

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