Brandeis has long been at the forefront of theoretical research in classical and quantum gravity, cosmology, quantum field theory, and elementary particle physics. Recent contributions by members of the group include work in fundamental aspects of string theory, applications of string theory to cosmology, the physics and mathematics of realistic four-dimensional string models, supersymmetric Yang-Mills theories, supersymmetry breaking, the quantum theory of supergravity, the quantum mechanics of black holes, lower-dimensional quantum field theories, and topological field theories.
The group consists of three faculty members, one or two postdoctoral research associates, and advanced graduate students. Much of the work is collaborative, and graduate students are heavily involved in the day-to-day research. The group is supported by a long-running grant from the Department of Energy.
Professor Matthew Headrick's research interests include string theory and related areas of quantum field theory, general relativity, and geometry. He has recently worked on problems involving tachyons in string theory, the deconfinement transition in the AdS/CFT duality, and numerical methods for solving the Einstein equation in the Euclidean context, such as on Calabi-Yau manifolds.
Professor Albion Lawrence's research includes the mathematics of supersymmetric string compactifications, nonperturbative definitions of string theory, the interface between string theory and observational cosmology, nonperturbative methods in quantum field theory, the quantum mechanics of black holes, the nature of dynamical singularities in gravity (i.e. at the big bang), and qualitative questions of particle physics (such as supersymmetry breaking and axion dynamics) for which an understanding of cosmology and quantum gravity could play a role.
Professor Howard Schnitzer's research deals with quantum field theory, conformal field theory, and the theory of strings. Recently, he and his collaborators have been studying N = 4 super-Yang-Mills theory and N = 8 supergravity in perturbation theory, with particular emphasis on the infrared singularities and Regge behavior of scattering amplitudes. Among the motivations for this program is to explore a possible weak coupling-weak coupling duality between the two theories. Another is the possible ultraviolet finiteness of N = 8 supergravity in perturbation theory.
Emeritus members of the group include Stanley Deser, Marcus Grisaru, Hugh Pendleton III, and Silvan Schweber. The history of the group is summarized in this document.