Research on Gauge Theories, Gravity and Strings

Grants and Contracts Details


A. PROJECT SUMMARY 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 field theories. This proposal should be viewed as a request for continuation of funding for the two current NSF projects whose PI's are Sumit R. Das and Alfred Shapere. We are combining these projects at the suggestion of the previous program officer. The main focus of one aspect of the proposal is to attain a deeper understanding of holography, particularly in the time-dependent context. The PI has been involved with some recent advances in this area, which include progress in understanding time-dependent backgrounds in noncritical string theory and Matrix string theory. This project involves further work in these areas and extensions to new directions aimed at understanding physical questions about particle production, initial conditions, and other issues. The PI has extensive experience in research in this area and plans to integrate his past work with new ideas to attack the problems described. Another main thrust of the proposal will be to use exact solutions of supersymmetric gauge theories to explore a range of nonperturbative phenomena, from conformal field theories in 4D to the structure of solitons, with potential extensions to supergravity and string theory. In this effort, the co-PI's expertise in SUSY gauge theories will be complemented by the PI's experience with black holes in string theory and supergravity. Finally, the co-PI will continue to seek experimental signatures and strengthen constraints on low-energy gravity, using data from current and future cosmic ray detectors and particle colliders. New projects on baryon decay and spacetime foam will augment previous work on black hole production. In order to carry out the proposed research, summer research salary, support for a postdoctoral associate and a graduate student, travel funds for collaborative visits and conferences, and a modest amount for inviting short-term visitors are requested. The amount requested for consultant services will be used to invite leading workers in the field to visit University of Kentucky to give seminars on their work and to engage in detailed discussions which could lead to future collaborations. Over the past three years the string theory group at the University of Kentucky has established itself as a viable and active research group with a good rate of publication, good visibility, and a record of success in recruiting high-quality postdocs and placing them in good jobs after they complete their terms. 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, University of Cincinnati (UC) (80 miles away) has an active high energy theory group and the University of Louisville (UL) (70 miles away) has recently hired a String theorist. Our group has strong collaborative ties with both UC and UL as well as the Ohio State University. The University of Kentucky has the only doctoral program in Physics in the state of Kentucky. Kentucky is among the states with the lowest NSF funding levels in the country and participates in the NSF EPSCoR program. The present project is expected to enhance the quality of undergraduate and graduate physics education and increase awareness of frontier physics research in an Appalachian region with one of the lowest scientific literacy rates in the country. The project will benefit underrepresented groups directly since the PI is of Asian origin and the two graduate students working in this group are of Hispanic origin. This project may also be considered for funding under the Gravitational Theory section. 1
Effective start/end date7/1/0612/31/10


  • National Science Foundation: $492,000.00


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