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School of Physical and Chemical Sciences

Mitchell Woolley


Research Student

Room Number: G. O. Jones Building, Room 602


Project title:

Superconformal field theories in various dimensions


Dr. Costis Papageorgakis

Project description:

My work revolves around formal questions in quantum field theory (QFT), the modern framework for understanding fundamental particle interactions in Nature. Interacting QFTs, i.e. theories where particles communicate and dynamical physics takes place, are often very difficult to describe, even qualitatively.  A theoretical physicist’s primary tool for studying hard problems is taking advantage of symmetries of the system. The QFTs I investigate enjoy both conformal symmetry and supersymmetry which, when combined, allow us to get a better handle on their dynamics.

In addition, conformal field theories (CFTs) are ubiquitous among the short and long distance limits of non-conformal QFTs. Studying CFTs therefore takes us a long way toward mapping out the space of all QFTs. A final attraction to CFTs is the AdS/CFT correspondence, which is a duality between CFTs in d dimensions and full theories of quantum gravity in (d+1) dimensions. Holographic models such as these have provided us with some of the only consistent pictures of quantum gravity, the most elusive theory in theoretical physics.





Horsley, S.A.R., Woolley, M. Zero-refractive-index materials and topological photonics. Nature Physics (2020).

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