Research in Field Theory and String Theory

Grants and Contracts Details

Description

The research described in this proposal will consist of several projects involving quantum field theory and string theory. This proposal should be viewed as a request for continuation of funding for a current NSF project. The primary intellectual merit of the proposed activity will be to extend our knowledge of fundamental physics in several directions, and to apply this knowledge to diverse areas of physics. The project will aim to improve our understanding of the origins of holographic duality and non- equilibrium behavior of quantum field theories. More specifically, the PI will conduct research aimed at probing the emergence of a higher dimensional gravitational dual of large-N field theories by tracking how the internal degrees of these theories morph into additional dimensions of space-time in simple models, studying universal behavior of field theories subjected to a quantum quench, and aspects of the process of thermal- ization of these theories. The latter studies will use both direct field theoretic methods as well as holographic techniques. The PI has extensive research experience in these areas and plans to integrate their past work with new ideas in order to attack the problems described. In order to carry out the proposed research, summer research salary, support for a post-doctoral associate and summer support for two graduate students, travel funds for collaborative visits and conferences, and a modest amount for inviting short-term visitors are requested. The funds re- quested under consultant services will be used to invite leading workers in the field to visit the University of Kentucky to give seminars and to engage in detailed discussions which could lead to future collaborations. A few distinguished visitors will be invited to deliver popular lectures aimed at encouraging young undergraduates to choose physics as a career and to disseminate frontier results in physics among a broad cross-section of the community. Over the past several years the string theory group at University of Kentucky (UK) has es- tablished itself as a viable active research group with a good record in publication, visibility and placement of students and postdoctoral researchers after they finish their terms. Apart from the PI, the Department has five other high energy theorists with active and funded research programs and in addition two nuclear theorists with overlapping interests. The UK group has strong ties with the nearby University of Cincinnati and Ohio State University, through collaborations and day-long meetings several times a year. One of the broader impacts resulting from the proposed activity will be to enhance the quality of undergraduate and graduate physics education, and to support frontier physics research and increase awareness of it in the Kentucky region. UK is the only university in the state of Kentucky which grants a Ph.D. degree in Physics. Kentucky is among the states with the lowest NSF funding levels in the country and participates in the NSF EPSCoR program. The present project will benefit underrepresented groups directly since the PI is of Asian origin. The PI is currently supervising two graduate students of Asian origin, one of whom is female, with funding from the University of Kentucky. The PI plans to expand on his outreach activities in the community. In particular he plans to give talks in "Science for everyone KY", a project which aims to promote interest in basic science in Lexington.
StatusActive
Effective start/end date9/1/187/31/23

Funding

  • National Science Foundation: $300,000.00

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