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School of Physics and Astronomy

Dr Congkao Wen

Congkao

Royal Society University Research Fellow

Email: c.wen@qmul.ac.uk
Telephone: 0207 882 5923
Room Number: G. O. Jones Building, Room 123

Profile

I joined the Centre for Research in String Theory in 2018. Previously, I held research positions at Caltech, at University of Rome, Tor Vergata, and at CRST in QMUL. I recieved my PhD at Brown University, and I did my my undergraduate and graduate studies at Zhejiang University.

Teaching

I currently teach the master course Introduction to strings and branes. The course is a basic introduction to String theory and Branes.

I also supervise undergraduate and master projects.

Research

Research Interests:

My recent research interest focuses on perturbative and non-perturbative aspects of quantum field theory, quantum gravity and string theory.

One of my main areas of activity has been developing and exploiting modern powerful techniques of scattering amplitudes, which includes two main research directions: 1. new formulations of scattering amplitudes in terms of twistor theory and Grassmannian geometry; 2. applying modern techniques of scattering amplitudes to other research areas. 

Over the past a few years, new twistor-like formulas have been discovered for scattering amplitudes in a wide range of interesting theories, including the world-volume theory of single probe brane in M-theory and string theory. These new mathematical formulas not only provide concrete formulas for the amplitudes in these theories, but also reveal new structures. This research direction is to discover such new formulations for more theories and explore the implications. 

My other major line of work is to study the applications of scattering amplitude techniques in other research areas. In particular, I am interested in understanding the symmetry constraints on effective actions in the langauge of scattering amplitudes. Scattering amplitudes provide extremely efficient ways of imposing the constraints, in form of, for instance, soft theorems, unitarity and superamplitude consistency. 

Recently, I have also been interested in exploring the deep between flat-space amplitudes and holographic correlation functions in AdS space. Holographic correlators rresemble many properties of flat-space scattering amplitudes, especially when formulated in Mellin space. This allows us to apply "amplitude-inspired methods" to study these correlators at the level of supergravity limit and beyond. 

Funding

Grants held at QMUL:

Royal Society University Research Fellowship, 2018 - 2022 (£430,693)

Royal Society Grant supporting a PhD Studentship, 2018 - 2022 (£92,148)

Publications

My list of publications:

 

Complete list of publications on INSPIRE-HEP.

Supervision

Scattering amplitudes: New formulations and Applications
 
Scattering amplitudes are one of the most fundamental observables in quantum field theory and string theory. In recent years, hidden structures of scattering amplitudes have been uncovered, and extremely powerful computational methods have been developed. These developments have dramatically improved our understanding of quantum field theory and string theory. This project will focus on the most recent and remarkable developments in this rapidly evolving research field. In particular, the research projects include new formulations of scattering amplitudes in terms of twistor theory, Grassmannian and positive geometry, as well as the applications of scattering amplitudes to other research areas ranging from constraining effective field theories to holographic correlation functions in the context of AdS/CFT duality. 

Requirements: knowledge of Quantum Field Theory, String Theory and Supersymmetry at the level of a Master course.