The elegant universe

Tackling big questions about the fundamental forces, symmetry and information, and the intimate interplay between physics and mathematics.

We lack a single theory that describes the universe. Gravity, described by general relativity, is not consistent with quantum field theory describing the other three forces. Will this be resolved by string theory, loop quantum gravity, or something new? What are the testable consequences of such a theory, which is currently beyond the limits of human experimentation? We seek the structure of the extra dimensions of space-time whose geometry determines our universe.

We study the large-scale structure of space-time, especially in relation to singularities. Can black hole thermodynamics help prescribe a theory of everything? What are the implications of the holographic principle? What is behind dark energy and matter, which are posited to make sense of the cosmos?

We study the physical nature of information, and the extraction of energy from fluctuations in the environment. We seek a foundational understanding of the relation between information and energy in the classical and quantum regimes.

Wigner noted the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics in physics. Today, we see the reverse: attempts to advance physics, such as string theory, are driving mathematics. We investigate the convergence between pure mathematics and fundamental physics, and how this vantage could help redress physics’ current impasse.

Related papers

  • OGO. GamayunMPFT Physical Review Research

    Mobile impurity

    Explicit computation of injection and ejection impurity’s Green’s function reveals a generalisation of the Kubo-Martin-Schwinger relation.

  • PDYHY. HeEHEH J Comput Algebra

    AI for cluster algebras

    Investigating cluster algebras through the lens of modern data science reveals an elegant symmetry in the quiver exchange graph embedding.

  • Journal of High Energy Physics

    Bundled Laplacians

    By approximating the basis of eigenfunctions, we computationally determine the harmonic modes of bundle-valued Laplacians on Calabi-Yau manifolds.

  • Journal of High Energy Physics

    Absorption with amplitudes

    How gravitational waves are absorbed by a black hole is understood, for the first time, through effective on-shell scattering amplitudes.

  • Journal of High Energy Physics

    Peculiar betas

    The beta function for a class of sigma models is not found to be geometric, but rather has an elegant form in the context of algebraic data.

  • SciPost Physics

    Spin diffusion

    The spin-spin correlation function of the Hubbard model reveals that finite temperature spin transport in one spatial dimension is diffusive.

  • Advances in Theoretical and Mathematical Physics, in press

    Clustered cluster algebras

    Cluster variables in Grassmannian cluster algebras can be classified with HPC by applying the tableaux method up to a fixed number of columns.

  • Journal of High Energy Physics

    Gauge theory and integrability

    The algebra of a toric quiver gauge theory recovers the Bethe ansatz, revealing the relation between gauge theories and integrable systems.

  • Physics Letters B

    AI classifies space-time

    A neural network learns to classify different types of spacetime in general relativity according to their algebraic Petrov classification.

  • Journal of High Energy Physics

    Algebra of melting crystals

    Certain states in quantum field theories are described by the geometry and algebra of melting crystals via properties of partition functions.

  • Physics Letters B

    Machine learning Hilbert series

    Neural networks find efficient ways to compute the Hilbert series, an important counting function in algebraic geometry and gauge theory.

  • Physics Letters B

    Line bundle connections

    Neural networks find numerical solutions to Hermitian Yang-Mills equations, a difficult system of PDEs crucial to mathematics and physics.

  • New Journal of Physics

    Going, going, gone

    A solution to the information paradox uses standard quantum field theory to show that black holes can evaporate in a predictable way.

  • Journal of High Energy Physics

    QFT and kids’ drawings

    Groethendieck's “children’s drawings”, a type of bipartite graph, link number theory, geometry, and the physics of conformal field theory.

  • Arxiv

    Scale of non-locality

    The number of particles in a higher derivative theory of gravity relates to its effective mass scale, which signals the theory’s viability.

  • Physical Review E

    Geometry of discrete space

    A phase transition creates the geometry of the continuum from discrete space, but it needs disorder if it is to have the right metric.

  • Physical Review E

    One-shot statistic

    One-shot analogs of fluctuation-theorem results help unify these two approaches for small-scale, nonequilibrium statistical physics.

  • Foundations of Physics

    A Hamiltonian recipe

    An explicit recipe for defining the Hamiltonian in general probabilistic theories, which have the potential to generalise quantum theory.

  • Physical Review B

    Dirac cones in 2D borane

    The structure of two-dimensional borane, a new semi-metallic single-layered material, has two Dirac cones that meet right at the Fermi energy.

  • Proceedings of the Royal Society A

    Quantum jumps in thermodynamics

    Spectroscopy experiments show that energy shifts due to photon emission from individual molecules satisfy a fundamental quantum relation.

  • New Journal of Physics

    Worst-case work entropic equality

    A new equality which depends on the maximum entropy describes the worst-case amount of work done by finite-dimensional quantum systems.

  • Physical Review A

    Tunnelling interpreted

    Quantum tunnelling only occurs if either the Wigner function is negative, or the tunnelling rate operator has a negative Wigner function.

  • Physical Review Letters

    Photonic Maxwell's demon

    With inspiration from Maxwell’s classic thought experiment, it is possible to extract macroscopic work from microscopic measurements of photons.

  • Classical and Quantum Gravity

    Cyclic isotropic cosmologies

    In an infinitely bouncing Universe, the scalar field driving the cosmological expansion and contraction carries information between phases.

  • Journal of Chemical Physics

    Viscosity of polydisperse spheres

    A fast and simple way to measure how polydisperse spheres crowd around each other, termed the packing fraction, agrees well with rheological data.

  • Physical Review B

    Predicting interface structures

    Generating random structures in the vicinity of a material’s defect predicts the low and high energy atomic structure at the grain boundary.