Research on Gauge Theories, Gravity, and Strings

Grants and Contracts Details


The research described in this proposal will consist of several projects involving both formal and phenomenological aspects of String Theory and related theories of gravity, and supersymmetric gauge theories. This proposal should be viewed as a request for continuation of funding for a current NSF project. The intellectual merit of the proposed activity will be to extend our knowledge of fundamental physics, including but not limited to the understanding of quantum gravity using gauge-gravity duality, understanding of strongly coupled field theories, critical properties of gauge theories, and the relation between physics at very short distance scales characteristic of string theory and physics at scales observable in experiments. More specifically, the PI will conduct research aimed at understanding critical and time dependent phenomena in strongly coupled field theories using the holographic correspondence and at a deeper understanding of gauge-gravity duality in vector-like models using collective field theory techniques. The co-PI will investigate universal properties of quantum field theories and their renormalization group flows in four and two dimensions. He will also use supersymmetry and holography as tools to study strongly-coupled conformal field theories, RG flows with limit cycles and other pathologies, and associated implications for dual gravitational theories. The PI and co-PI have extensive research experience in these areas and plan 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 postdoctoral associate and two graduate students, travel funds for collaborative visits and conferences, and a modest amount for inviting short-term visitors are requested. The funds requested 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 three years the string theory group at University of Kentucky has established itself as a viable active research group with a good record in publication, visibility and placement of postdoctoral researchers after they finish their term. Apart from the two faculty members working in String Theory, the department has four other high energy theorists with active and funded research programs. In addition, the University of Cincinnati (UC) (80 miles away) has an active high energy theory group. Our group has strong ties with UC, as well as Ohio State University, through collaboration and joint seminars. One of the broader impacts resulting from the proposed activity will be to support highquality scientific research, enhance the quality of undergraduate and graduate physics education, and increase awareness of frontier physics research in a state with one of the lowest scientific literacy rates in the country. The University of Kentucky 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 also benefit underrepresented groups directly since the PI as well as two supported graduate students are of Asian origin.
Effective start/end date7/15/1212/31/16


  • National Science Foundation: $482,565.00


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