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Daniel Friedan

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  Position: Faculty
  Research group: High Energy Theory
  Email address: friedan AT physics.rutgers.edu
  Telephone: (732) 445-5500 x3737
secretary: (732) 445-5500 x2783, fax: (732) 445-4993
  Office: Serin E366
  Mailing address: Daniel Friedan
Department of Physics and Astronomy
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
126 Frelinghuysen Road
Piscataway, NJ 08854-8019 USA


Fall 2014: General Physics 203 recitations


I work on two projects: one concerning the fundamental laws of physics, the other concerning certain condensed matter systems that might eventually be useful in quantum computers. Both projects use the technology of two-dimensional quantum field theory.

I have formulated and am investigating a physical mechanism that at least formally determines the background spacetime for string theory. The hope is that this mechanism will actually produce the combination of General Relativity and the Standard Model of particle physics that has so accurately described physics across an astonishingly wide range of distance scales.

My efforts in this direction started with my doctoral thesis, first presented in a talk at the 1979 Nuffield Workshop on Quantum Gravity, then published as a letter, Physical Review Letters 45 (1980) 1057, then published in full as LBL Report LBL-11517 (1980) and reprinted as Annals of Physics 163 (1985) 318.  Other early work was presented in 1982 lectures at Les Houches, and in 1984 lectures at Aspen and at the Santa Fe APS Meeting.

The theory I am currently working on was presented in a paper in 2002:  A tentative theory of large distance physics.  A summary was presented at Cargese 2002. A short sketch was given at the 2003 Wigner Symposium (transparencies).

The most recent steps were mathematical explorations of the Yang-Mills flow, presented in a paper: A loop of SU(2) gauge fields stable under the Yang-Mills flow (2010).

I am also trying to understand the basic properties of near-critical quantum circuits. These are one-dimensional condensed matter systems near a low temperature critical point. I have argued that such systems are the only physical systems that are practical for asymptotically large-scale quantum computers.

These systems behave in universal ways which are described by 1+1 dimensional quantum field theories. Universal physical properties of these systems can be discovered by investigating the general structures of 1+1 dimensional quantum field theories.

My first efforts in this direction were my doctoral thesis (see above) and Physical Review Letters 52 (1984) 1575, and Physics Letters B151 (1985) 37.

More papers in this area:


Unpublished manuscripts:

Copies of some older papers:

Copies of more recent papers:


Links to other people's work

Other links

Please send any comments on this page to friedan AT physics.rutgers.edu.

Revised August 26, 2010