What is String Theory
String theory is
one of the most active areas of research in physics and mathematics,
lying at the frontier of both sciences.
In a nutshell, string theory is an attempt to solve "Einstein's big
problem", namely to find a unified theory of fundamental interactions.
Any candidate for a solution must
combine quantum mechanics with general relativity, and in particular it
should include a quantum
theory of gravity.
String theory is such a proposal, which grew out of
early attempts to describe strong
interactions in terms of extended objects. Its
main new postulate is
that the fundamental consistuents of matter are not particles, but
one-dimensional objects (called strings) and
perhaps objects of higher
dimension (called branes). Much like quantum mechanics and field theory
in an earlier era, the theory is
under active development and its basic
ideas are under constant reconsideration.
In spite of such re-evaluation, String Theory
has been strikingly succesful at resolving a series of problems which
have vexed all
previous attempts to formulate a consistent quantum
gravity. Due to enormous recent progress in the field, it is now
many physicists that String Theory might be our best
for a unified description of the fundamental forces of nature.
As with other fundamental theories of science,
Theory has led to an avalanche of mathematical ideas and results
breadth and difficulty supercedes that of previous
developments in physics. Among such ramifications one finds novel
methods for analyzing the dynamics of gauge theory, new
mathematical phenomena (such as Mirror Symmetry) and unexpected
to extremely difficult mathematical problems (a
series of results in knot theory arising from Chern-Simons theory, a
wealth of powerful
results in Gromov theory predicted by mirror
symmetry and the rewriting of Donaldson polynomials in terms of
While having such an impact on many branches of
Mathematics, String Theory in turn draws on a large number of very deep
ideas developed independently by mathematicians. Perhaps
the most striking example is the theory of Calabi-Yau compactifications
superstrings, which relies on and reinforces certain areas of
mathematics (such as algebraic geometry, enumerative geometry and
algebra), all of which were once thought to be of only
relevance to physics.
Description of Our Research
research concentrates on mathematical aspects
string theory and gauge theory, with special emphasis on geometric
Shatashvili and Anton
Gerasimov work on a broad
range of problems in Donaldson and Seiberg-Witten theory,
Lazaroiu focuses on topological and algebro-geometric aspects
of Calabi-Yau compactifications, Homological Mirror Symmetry,
string field theory, topological strings
and Calabi-Yau compactifications.
string field theory and algebraic homotopy theory.
Cherkis works on string-inspired problems in differential geometry,
which belong to the
general area of hyperkahler and quaternionic
geometry as well as the
theory of twistor spaces.
Our group is a member of the ForcesUniverse
TCD School of Mathematics
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