The grand challenge of High Energy Theory is to develop a self-consistent description of all the microscopic laws of nature. Along the way, we need answers to questions such as: Is the fundamental structure of space and time continuous or discrete? Is there a symmetry that allows us to generalize Einstein's "equivalence principle" to quantum mechanics? Can our current models of High Energy Physics explain the origin of the Big Bang? Can the fundamental constants of physics be predicted? Or are they thrown down by chance?
Research in High Energy Physics at Brown covers a range of topics from String Theory and M-theory to Black Hole physics, Gravitation and Cosmology, as well gauge theories, QCD, Computational quantum field theory and other topics. Faculty in particle theory are Gerry Guralnik, Antal Jevicki, Savvas Koushiappas, David Lowe, Marcus Spradlin, Chung-I Tan and Anastasia Volovich. The group includes, in addition, postdoctoral research associates and a research assistant professor. The group has an active visitor program and runs a weekly seminar series where speakers from around the country come to discuss the latest in research.
Gerry Guralnik, a co-discoverer of the Higgs effect, has interests in Elementary-Particle Theory, Quantum Theory of Fields, Numerical Quantum Field Theory and Computational Algorithms. He is developing efficient new numerical methods to solve the Schwinger-Dyson equations of quantum field theory. He maintains active collaborations with faculty in Computer Science and Chemistry on computational methods and data visualization.
Antal Jevicki's research interests include Quantum Field Theory, String Theory, Quantum Gravity, Black Holes, Nonperturbative and Collective Phenomena. Recently he has been studying the symmetry principles that underlie space-time geometry, and has been developing a new non-commutative formulation of geometry.
David Lowe works on a broad range of topics ranging from "nonperturbative" formulations of string theory, to applications of powerful string theory techniques to problems in black hole physics and cosmology. This work is leading to a consistent quantum description of black holes via string theory that matches well with Hawking's early work. As string theory develops it is becoming possible to address cosmological questions from a top down approach. With the wealth of new data on cosmological parameters coming in from experiments, this interface between string theory and cosmology will likely be entering an inflationary phase.
Marcus Spradlin is interested in string theory and its applications to particle and gravitational physics. In particular he studies dualities equating quantum gravity to ordinary quantum field theories similar to QCD, which describes the strong nuclear force binding quarks together inside of protons and neutrons. Professor Spradlin explores the implications of dualities and exploits these insights to develop novel calculational tools, aiming towards a mathematical solution of QCD.
Chung-I Tan's research interests include Dynamics of Hadrons, Quantum Chromodynamics, Lattice Gauge Theories, Matrix Models and String Theories, High-Energy Multiparticle Phenomena and Statistical Mechanics of Strings at High-Energy Densities. Using the duality between quantum chromodynamics at large N (the number of gluons is N2) and supergravity, he is understanding many detailed properties of QCD. The brane-world scenario is another topic of investigation, which yields predictions that can be tested at the next round of collider experiments.
Anastasia Volovich's research concerns string theory and related areas in particle physics, general relativity and mathematics. She is working on gauge/string dualities, mathematical structures in gauge theories (in particular integrability and insights from twistor string theory), and using these rich structures to aid practical calculations relevant to collider physics and to to develop new quantitative methods useful for studying quantum gauge theories and quantum gravity.