I intend to use string theory to understand gauge theories in four dimensions, both at strong and weak coupling. This includes describing strongly interacting gauge theories and their metastable vacua using their supergravity and string duals, as well as understanding gauge theories at intermediate coupling via integrability. It also includes using and developing new string-inspired twistor-space techniques to analyze QCD and N=1 amplitudes at one loop level. I also plan to thoroughly investigate the implications of string theory for the physics of black holes. In particular I want to construct and analyze black hole microstates -- smooth horizon-less solutions that are very similar to the black hole asymptotically, but differ from the black hole at the location of the horizon. Counting and understanding these microstates via the AdS-CFT correspondence will establish whether black holes should be thought of as ensembles of such microstate geometries.
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