School of Physics and Astronomy

Professor David Berman


Deputy Head of School, Professor of Theoretical Physics

Telephone: 020 7882 5796
Room Number: G. O. Jones Building, Room 607


My collaborators

Over the years I have worked with lots of people from around the world.

Here is a list (ordered in terms of number of joint publications):

D.C.Thompson (Brussels), M.J.Perry (Cambridge), P.Sundell (Chile) , E.A.Bergshoeff (Groningen), F.J.Rudolph (Queen Mary), J.P.van.der.Schaar (Amsterdam), M.Cederwall (Goteborg), N.B.Copland (Cambridge), H.Godazgar (Cambridge), B.E.W.Nilsson (Goteborg), C.D.A.Blair (Brussels), E.Malek (Munich), E.T.Musaev (Moscow), H.Larsson (Gotebrog), J.Berkeley (Queen Mary), L.C.Tadrowski (Queen Mary), M.K.Parikh (Arizona), M.Nielsen (Goteborg), U.Gran (Gotebrog), A.Kleinschmidt (Potsdam), B.Pioline (CERN), E.Rabinovici (Jerusalem), E.Sezgin (Texas), I.Bakhmatov (Kazan), J.A.Harvey (Chicago), J.Bedford (Queen Mary), K.H.Lee (KIAS, Seoul), M.Godazgar (Cambridge), P.C.West (Kings London) and V.L.Campos (Goteborg).


My teaching

I currently teach Electric and Magnetic Fields for 1st year undergraduates and the third year course Spacetime and Gravity. I also supervise various theoretical projects for 3rd and 4th year students. Over the years I have been nominated for numerous teaching awards and won the most inspiration lecturer award by the student physics society in 2013.


Research Interests:

My research interests

My main research interests are in M-theory, the nonperturbative version of string theory. The extended objects in M-theory are membranes and five-branes. They are related to strings and D-branes in string theory via dimensional reduction. Over the last few years my research has been devoted to understanding the interactions of these branes. My other interests over the years have been varied and include: Holography and the AdS/CFT coresspondence; noncommutative geometry; and S-duality in gauge theories. Since 2010, I have been interested in applying and extending the ideas of generalised geometry to M-theory. This has produced a duality manifest description of M-theory and has lead to a reworking of many ideas in relativity to take into account duality symmetries in string and M-theory. This is still on going research and has many applications in terms of potentially reformulating what string theory is. 



Branes are Waves and Monopoles
Berman, David S. et al.
JHEP, Volume 1505, page 015. Publication year: 2015

DOI: 10.1007/JHEP05(2015)015



Duality Symmetric String and M-Theory
Berman, David S. et al.
Phys.Rept., Volume 566, page 1-60. Publication year: 2014

DOI: 10.1016/j.physrep.2014.11.007


The $O_{D,D}$ geometry of string theory
Berman, David S. et al.
Int.J.Mod.Phys., Volume A29, page 1450080. Publication year: 2014

DOI: 10.1142/S0217751X14500808


Global aspects of double geometry
Berman, David S. et al.
JHEP, Volume 1409, page 066. Publication year: 2014

DOI: 10.1007/JHEP09(2014)066


Supersymmetry for Gauged Double Field Theory and Generalised Scherk-Schwarz Reductions
Berman, David S. et al.
Nucl.Phys., Volume B881, page 369-390. Publication year: 2014

DOI: 10.1016/j.nuclphysb.2014.02.015


Strings and Branes are Waves
Berkeley, Joel et al.
JHEP, Volume 1406, page 006. Publication year: 2014

DOI: 10.1007/JHEP06(2014)006



The gauge structure of generalised diffeomorphisms
Berman, David S. et al.
JHEP, Volume 1301, page 064. Publication year: 2013

DOI: 10.1007/JHEP01(2013)064



Duality Invariant Actions and Generalised Geometry
Berman, David S. et al.
JHEP, Volume 1202, page 108. Publication year: 2012

DOI: 10.1007/JHEP02(2012)108


The Local symmetries of M-theory and their formulation in generalised geometry
Berman, David S. et al.
JHEP, Volume 1201, page 012. Publication year: 2012

DOI: 10.1007/JHEP01(2012)012


Duality Invariant M-theory: Gauged supergravities and Scherk-Schwarz reductions
Berman, David S. et al.
JHEP, Volume 1210, page 174. Publication year: 2012

DOI: 10.1007/JHEP10(2012)174



Generalized Geometry and M theory
Berman, David S. et al.
JHEP, Volume 1106, page 074. Publication year: 2011

DOI: 10.1007/JHEP06(2011)074


SO(5,5) duality in M-theory and generalized geometry
Berman, David S. et al.
Phys.Lett., Volume B700, page 65-67. Publication year: 2011

DOI: 10.1016/j.physletb.2011.04.046


Boundary Terms in Generalized Geometry and doubled field theory
Berman, David S. et al.
Phys.Lett., Volume B706, page 228-231. Publication year: 2011

DOI: 10.1016/j.physletb.2011.11.019



Boundary Conditions for Interacting Membranes
Berman, David S. et al.
JHEP, Volume 1004, page 025. Publication year: 2010

DOI: 10.1007/JHEP04(2010)025



Membranes with a boundary
Berman, David S. et al.
Nucl.Phys., Volume B820, page 503-533. Publication year: 2009

DOI: 10.1016/j.nuclphysb.2009.06.004



M-theory branes and their interactions
Berman, David S. et al.
Phys.Rept., Volume 456, page 89-126. Publication year: 2008

DOI: 10.1016/j.physrep.2007.10.002


Aspects of Multiple Membranes
Berman, David S. et al.
Nucl.Phys., Volume B802, page 106-120. Publication year: 2008

DOI: 10.1016/j.nuclphysb.2008.05.006


Background Field Equations for the Duality Symmetric String
Berman, David S. et al.
Nucl.Phys., Volume B791, page 175-191. Publication year: 2008

DOI: 10.1016/j.nuclphysb.2007.09.021


Duality Symmetric Strings, Dilatons and O(d,d) Effective Actions
Berman, David S. et al.
Phys.Lett., Volume B662, page 279-284. Publication year: 2008

DOI: 10.1016/j.physletb.2008.03.012



The String partition function in Hull's doubled formalism
Berman, David S et al.
Phys.Lett., Volume B649, page 325-333. Publication year: 2007

DOI: 10.1016/j.physletb.2007.03.007



A Note on the M2-M5 brane system and fuzzy spheres
Berman, David S. et al.
Phys.Lett., Volume B639, page 553-559. Publication year: 2006

DOI: 10.1016/j.physletb.2006.06.060



Five-brane calibrations and fuzzy funnels
Berman, David S. et al.
Nucl.Phys., Volume B723, page 117-131. Publication year: 2005

DOI: 10.1016/j.nuclphysb.2005.06.015



A Noncommutative M theory five-brane
Bergshoeff, E. et al.
Nucl.Phys., Volume B590, page 173-197. Publication year: 2000

DOI: 10.1016/S0550-3213(00)00476-4


Critical fields on the M5-brane and noncommutative open strings
Bergshoeff, E. et al.
Phys.Lett., Volume B492, page 193-200. Publication year: 2000

DOI: 10.1016/S0370-2693(00)01081-9


PhD Supervision

This is not an exhaustive list and I would be happy to discuss other project possibilities.


Public Engagement


I am director of outreach for the School of Physics and Astronomy. I have a long standing interest in public engagement in many different forms and have over the years built up a variety of activities at the boundary between science and arts. A list of my outreach activities is available here [PDF 54KB].


My talks

Invited plenary talks:

String Field Theory 2016, Sao Paulo

Simons Institute meeting (2016).

F-theory at 20 conference, CalTech (2016) "An action for F-theory". 

CERN, Recent Developments in M-theory, (2016) "F-theory from EFT". 

Zurich ETH workshop (2016) “Cosmology and extended geometries”

APCTP meeting on extended geometries (2016) “Extended geometries”, "Solutions in EFT".

Schrodinger Institute workshop on higher gauge symmetries (2015) “Higher structures in extended geometries”

Korean conference on “Developments in M-theory” (2015) “Branes in extended geometry”

Frontiers in String Phenomenology, Schloss Ringberg (2014) “Extended geometry”

Kyoto workshop on generalised geometry (2014) “Extended geometry and quantisation"

Banff, M-theory conference (2014) “The origin of extended geometry"

Great Brampton meeting (2014) “Branes in extended geometries”

Strings2013- Korea (2013) “M-theory and extended geometries"

Cooks Branch meeting (2013) “Scherk-Schwarz reductions in extended geometry”

Durham workshop on strings and branes (2013) “U-duality and geometry"

Cooks Branch meeting (2012) “Local symmetries in generalised geometry”

Spanish Winter conference, Madrid (2012) “A survey of M-theory and generalised geometry"

Banff on Generalized Geometry (2012) “U-duality manifest theories"

Korean Institute for Advanced Studies Fall conference on strings and Branes (2012)

“Generalised geometry for M-theory"

Songang University EU meeting on double field theory, integrability and M-branes (2012), “Extended geometries"

Palencia strings meeting (2012), “Membranes and generalised geometry"

Stockhom workshop on Quantum Geometry (2011) “M-theory geometry".

Niels Bohr Institute workshop (2011), “Duality and generalised geometry".

Cooks Branch Meeting, Texas (2011) “U-duality and generalized geometry”

PICS meeting (2010), “M-theory and generalised geometry".

Cooks Branch Meeting, Texas, (2010) “Fermionic T-duality”

Galileo Institute Florence (2010), “M-theory and generalised geometry".

Cooks Branch Meeting, Texas (2009) “Boundaries of interacting membranes”

Korean Institute for advanced study conference on string theory (2008), “Interacting membranes"

Eurostrings08, RTN network meeting, Varna (2008), “Interacting membranes".

Brussels Triangle one day meeting (2008), “M-theory branes and their interactions".

Noncommutative geometry and physics (2008), Shonan Kokusaimura in Kanagawa, “M-

theory and noncommutative geometry".

Ascona Strings Meeting (2007) “String theory in the doubled formalism".

Eurostrings07, RTN meeting, Crete, “Fuzzy Geometries in M-theory".

Conference on noncommutative geometry in physics, Issac Newton Institute (2006), “Non-commutative geometry in string and M-theory".

Niels Bohr Institute summer workshop (2006), “Fuzzy Geometries in M-theory".

Eurostrings06, RTN network meeting, Cambridge (2006), “M-theory and the string genus


Beyond the horizon, KITP Santa Barbara (2006), “M-theory origin of string perturbation


The Triangle meeting on Nonperturbative aspects in string and field theory, Copenhagen (2000) “Open membranes and noncommutative five branes".

The Fradkin Memorial conference, Moscow (2000) “Critical fields on the five brane and non-commutative open strings".

Quantum Aspects of Gauge theories, Supersymmetry and Unifcation, Paris (1999) “Holograpy and rotating black holes".

Quantum Aspects of Gauge theories, Supersymmetry and Unification, Corfu (1998) “The M-five brane on a torus".


Invited Seminars

“Branes in Extended geometry”: Hannover (2015), Lyon (2014), Amsterdam (2014), Edinburgh (2014)

“Extended geometry in M-theory”: Buenos Aires (2014), Lisbon (2013), Imperial College (2013), Paris (2013) Sogang University, Soeul (2012)

“M-theory and generalised geometry”: Brussels (2011); Oxford (2011); Amsterdam (2011); Kings College London (2011); Cambridge (2010).

“Recent progress in String theory”: University of Kent (2010).

“Aspects of interacting multiple membranes”: Perimeter institute, Canada (2009); Kings College London (2009); DAMTP, Cambridge (2008); Niels Bohr Institute (2008); Jerusalem (2008); Brussels (2008).

“String Theory and the doubled formalism”: Tokyo (2008); Edinburgh (2008); Rome (2007); Texas A&M (2007).

“Noncommutativity in string and M-theory”: Rome (2007); Texas A&M (2007);

University of Oxford (Department of Mathematics) (2007).

“M-theory and the string genus expansion”: University of Durham (2006); ICTP Trieste (2006); University of Cambridge (2006); University of Sussex (2005).

“Self-dual string Anomalies”: CERN Theory division (2004); University of Amsterdam (2004); Niels Bohr Institute Copenhagen (2004); Harvard University (2004); MIT (2004); University of Chicago (2004); University of Michigan (2004);

“Membranes, Ribbons and Schild Strings”: Imperial College London (2004).

“M five-brane dynamics”:

Kings College, University of London (2004); University of Cambridge (2003); University of Durham (2003); University of Swansea (2003); University of Michigan (2003); University of Chicago(2003).

“Open Membranes”: Humbolt University, Berlin (2002); University of Uppsala (2002)

“AdS3 OM-theory”: Princeton University (2001); Columbia University, New York (2001); Les Houches School (2001); University of Utrecht (2001); University of Groningen (2001); Neve Shalom Centre of Excellence meeting, Israel (2001)

“A noncommutative five brane”: Humbolt University, Berlin (2001)

Queen Mary College (2000); Landelijk meeting Amsterdam (2000); University of Goteborg (2000); University of Utrecht (2000); University of Cambridge (2000).

“Black hole thermodynamics and AdS/CFT”: University of Leuven (2000)

Landelijk Meeting Amsterdam (1999).

“Branes and dualities”: University of Groningen (1998); University of Manchester (1998).