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Gauge Fields, Strings and Gravity

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Shedding light on black holes

Elusive phenomena in quantum physics can be better understood if researchers can overcome some of the challenges related to high-energy physics.


Particle physics or high-energy physics refers to the study of sub-atomic constituents related to matter and radiation, as well as their interaction. Because many elementary particles involved do not occur readily and must be reproduced by creating high-energy collisions, the field requires many sophisticated experiments in laboratories. This discipline has therefore come against its fair share of challenges. One of these involves obtaining a deeper understanding of coupling dynamics related to certain free gauge theories, such as in quantum chromodynamics (QCD). Another challenge lies in understanding the dynamics of gravity in relation to space-time singularities, such as certain cosmological phenomena and black holes. Both these challenges require deep study of string theory, which falls under particle physics and attempts to reconcile quantum physics and general relativity. The solution also calls for investigating gauge fields, which refers to studying a particular type of physics theory related to space-time. The EU-funded project 'Gauge Fields, Strings and Gravity' (Holography) is studying D-brane dynamics in string theory and black holes in gravity. D-branes are a class of extended objects in string theory that possess very complex spatial dimensions. In more detail, the project has investigated QCD-like gauge theories in open string theory, focussing on D-brane dynamics and unique situations. It explored the implications of such descriptions on the strong coupling dynamics of these theories in order to develop new techniques that could explain them and to describe specific black hole dynamics. The work also explores the fascinating area of quantum field theory dynamics in three dimensions. Research issues such as the non-perturbative consistency of theories with massive multigravity and glassy physics were also set to reveal promising information and applications. Importantly, the project team launched a major effort to develop a new effective field theory tool for explaining strings, quantum phenomena and gravity through holographic QCD. Lastly, the Holography project developed a powerful new tool that efficiently captures many new properties of black holes in higher dimensions. Examples of discoveries include new stationary phases with exotic horizon geometries, critical phenomena and horizon topology-changing transitions. Holography managed to open up a whole new area of research related to higher dimensional gravity, which will reveal much about black holes and D-branes in string theory.

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8 June 2020