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.
Explicit computation of injection and ejection impurity’s Green’s function reveals a generalisation of the Kubo-Martin-Schwinger relation.
Investigating cluster algebras through the lens of modern data science reveals an elegant symmetry in the quiver exchange graph embedding.
By approximating the basis of eigenfunctions, we computationally determine the harmonic modes of bundle-valued Laplacians on Calabi-Yau manifolds.
How gravitational waves are absorbed by a black hole is understood, for the first time, through effective on-shell scattering amplitudes.
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.
The spin-spin correlation function of the Hubbard model reveals that finite temperature spin transport in one spatial dimension is diffusive.
Cluster variables in Grassmannian cluster algebras can be classified with HPC by applying the tableaux method up to a fixed number of columns.
The algebra of a toric quiver gauge theory recovers the Bethe ansatz, revealing the relation between gauge theories and integrable systems.
A neural network learns to classify different types of spacetime in general relativity according to their algebraic Petrov classification.
Certain states in quantum field theories are described by the geometry and algebra of melting crystals via properties of partition functions.
Neural networks find efficient ways to compute the Hilbert series, an important counting function in algebraic geometry and gauge theory.
Neural networks find numerical solutions to Hermitian Yang-Mills equations, a difficult system of PDEs crucial to mathematics and physics.
A solution to the information paradox uses standard quantum field theory to show that black holes can evaporate in a predictable way.
Groethendieck's “children’s drawings”, a type of bipartite graph, link number theory, geometry, and the physics of conformal field theory.
The number of particles in a higher derivative theory of gravity relates to its effective mass scale, which signals the theory’s viability.
A phase transition creates the geometry of the continuum from discrete space, but it needs disorder if it is to have the right metric.
One-shot analogs of fluctuation-theorem results help unify these two approaches for small-scale, nonequilibrium statistical physics.
An explicit recipe for defining the Hamiltonian in general probabilistic theories, which have the potential to generalise quantum theory.
The structure of two-dimensional borane, a new semi-metallic single-layered material, has two Dirac cones that meet right at the Fermi energy.
Spectroscopy experiments show that energy shifts due to photon emission from individual molecules satisfy a fundamental quantum relation.
A new equality which depends on the maximum entropy describes the worst-case amount of work done by finite-dimensional quantum systems.
Quantum tunnelling only occurs if either the Wigner function is negative, or the tunnelling rate operator has a negative Wigner function.
With inspiration from Maxwell’s classic thought experiment, it is possible to extract macroscopic work from microscopic measurements of photons.
In an infinitely bouncing Universe, the scalar field driving the cosmological expansion and contraction carries information between phases.
A fast and simple way to measure how polydisperse spheres crowd around each other, termed the packing fraction, agrees well with rheological data.
Generating random structures in the vicinity of a material’s defect predicts the low and high energy atomic structure at the grain boundary.