Rutgers University Department of Physics and Astronomy

2000-01 Handbook for Physics and Astronomy Graduate Students

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Research Programs

Theoretical Elementary Particle Physics

Theoretical particle physics has advanced its frontiers enormously in recent years. The success of the Weinberg-Salam model of electroweak interactions, culminating in the discovery of the W+/- and Zo, has led to efforts to find a unified theory including quantum chromodynamics and perhaps general relativity as well. A theory of all interactions and particles usually has far-reaching implications, for instance predicting proton decay, and affecting the development of the universe in the first few moments after the big bang. Thus particle physics now relates to problems in cosmology, such as galaxy formation and the observed predominance of matter over antimatter. The most ambitious of these unified theories - superstrings - is being intensively studied at Rutgers, which has one of the strongest particle theory groups in the world. Other problems, such as developing methods to study non-abelian gauge theories in nonperturbative regimes, electroweak baryogenesis, and computational methods, are also being studied. Advances in the understanding of field theory have yielded techniques and predicted phenomena which are relevant to mathematics, statistical mechanics, and condensed matter physics.

Professor Tom Banks

Since 1996 I have been primarily working on the nonperturbative formulation of superstring theory invented by Steve Shenker, myself and our collaborators. This defines string theory as the limit of quantum mechanical systems whose basic variables are matrices, and incorporates many of the results of string duality. I retain my interests in supersymmetric field theory, supersymmetry phenomenology, and cosmology.

Professor John Bronzan

I am working on improving our understanding of thermal conditions in the quark-gluon plasma in which baryogenesis took place when the temperature of the universe was about 100 GeV. In the recent past I studied the use of the computer to study the solution of Schrodinger's equation for latticized quantum chromodynamics.

Professor Michael Douglas

My research is in string theory as a theory of fundamental interactions and quantum gravity, and in non-perturbative methods in field theory. I am currently studying large N field theories, to develop ideas for the non-perturbative definition of string theories, and for possible application to QCD physics. I also work on supersymmetric gauge theory and on conformal field theory, and I maintain an interest in computational techniques for theoretical physics.

Professor Daniel Friedan

I am interested in string theory as a fundamental description of elementary particles and forces and in quantum field theories and string theories as effective descriptions of elementary particles and critical phenomena. Recently, I have been trying to formulate non-perturbative string theory so as to make possible low-energy predictions and comparison with experiment.

Professor Petr Horava

My research interests are focused on exploring the structure of string (and M-)theory, the leading candidate for the quantum theory of gravity and other interactions. Recent attempts to understand the fascinating and unique structure of string theory have led to new concepts and techniques with profound implications in many areas, ranging from pure mathematics (e.g., quantum geometry) to particle phenomenology (e.g., large extra dimensions) to non-perturbative dynamics of quantum field theory (such as Seiberg-Witten theory and its cousins), to quantum gravity (e.g., Bekenstein-Hawking entropy from D-branes). It is logical to expect that our future exploration of the fundamentals of string theory will broaden this list, to include areas such as cosmology and the physics of the early Universe.

Professor Claud Lovelace

I am working on string theories. It is currently believed that these may give the ultimate theory which unifies all physics. However, the known ground state has ten flat dimensions. I am looking for the equations which determine all possible ground states.

Professor Sergei Lukyanov

My research activities are in the areas of quantum field theory, mathematical physics and statistical mechanics. Currently I am mostly interested in exactly soluble low dimensional models.

Professor Herbert Neuberger

My area of specialization is Field Theory and I am mostly interested in its non-perturbative aspects.

Professor Joel Shapiro

My work has been centered primarily on string theory, especially the understanding of closed strings as they appear in an open string theory, and of the Green-Schwarz string in curved superspace backgrounds, and the connection of the necessary constraints on such backgrounds with supergravity.

Professor Alexander Zamolodchikov

I am working on quantum field theory in relation to both high-energy physics and statistical physics. More specifically, I am looking for exact solutions to model quantum field theories, and trying to elaborate mathematical structures of such solutions as well as applications to physics of criticality, strings and gravity. Presently I am interested in various aspects of the fascinating interplay between integrable field theories, conformal field theories, and string theory.

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Revised November, 2000