Professor Andrew StromingerThe fundamental laws of nature, as we currently understand them, are both incomplete and contradictory. Unsolved problems concerning these laws include the incompatibility of quantum mechanics and Einstein’s theory of gravity, the origin of the universe, and the origin of the masses of the elementary particles. Professor Strominger’s research has concerned various aspects of these problems. The emergence of string theory as the most promising approach to these problems began with Strominger’s 1985 co-discovery of so-called Calabi-Yau compactifications . This construction demonstrated that string theory not only reconciles quantum mechanics and gravity, but can also contain within it electrons, protons, photons and all the other observed particles and forces, and hence is a viable candidate for a complete unified theory of nature. In 1991 Strominger co-discovered the brane solutions of string theory, which have played a crucial role in unraveling the beautiful mathematical structure and duality symmetries of the theory . The branes were eventually used by Strominger and collaborators to give a microscopic explanation of how black holes are able to store information ; finally resolving a deep paradox uncovered by Hawking and Bekenstein a quarter century earlier. He and coworkers also used the branes to derive new relations in algebraic geometry, equating the moduli space of a brane in a Calabi-Yau space to the mirror Calabi-Yau . Preliminary attempts have been made to apply these insights to cosmology . Current research (e.g. ) continues attempts to better understand the fundamental laws of nature.
Further description of Strominger’s research can be found in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andy_Strominger and links therein.
For further reference:
Professor Lisa RandallLisa Randall studies particle physics and cosmology at Harvard University, where she is Professor of Theoretical Physics. Her research concerns elementary particles and fundamental forces, and has involved the study a wide variety of models, the most recent involving extra dimensions of space. She has also worked on supersymmetry, Standard Model observables, cosmological inflation, baryogenesis, grand unified theories, general relativity, and string theory. Professor Randall recently completed a book entitled Warped Passages: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Universe's Hidden Dimensions (New York: Ecco, 2005), which was included in the New York Times' 100 notable books of 2005.
|Learn more about the presenters:|
|© Copyright 2007 President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved.|