Peet group @ UofT Physics

What OS does the Universe run?

String theorists want to know how forces+matter work in the UV.

[String Theory is related to Particle Theory, Geometry (Math), Early Universe Cosmology (CITA) and Condensed Matter.]

Some remarkably durable myths about string theory persist, even among physics PhDs who should know better.

  1. Actually, string theory is falsifiable. see e.g. PRL98:041601(2007).
  2. Yes, string theory is physics.
  3. String theorists are no smarter than any other type of physicist.

String Theory as Quantum Gravity

Basic idea: fundamental LEGOs are tiny vibrating strings, closed/open.

[a snapshot of a closed string (like a rubber band) and an open string (with endpoints) ]

Familiar particles are string excitations differing in mass and spin. e.g. graviton, photon.

Quantizing strings as the basic ingredients and taking the IR limit gives Einstein gravity (+ other stuff).

Particles are pointy. Strings are extended and hence softer in the UV. The technical details of this mend the UV sickness of GR.

My research field is string theory as a theory of quantum gravity. I research the black hole information paradox and holographic linkages between quantum entanglement and spacetime geometry.

Want to know more?

Get started by perusing the slides and/or video from my latest public lecture.

Suggested courses for aspiring string theorists: QFT x 2, GR x 2, Stat Mech, Interpretations of QM, Effective Communication.

Strategy tip for aspiring T-HEP students: game theory favours those who do not wait to declare interest in potential supervisors. There is no time to waste anywhere in your 5 years here.

Talk to my current PhD students

  1. Ian Jardine (MP1122)
  2. Jesse Cresswell (MP1104A)

to find out what starting out in string theory research is like.

I may take on 1 new first-year student this year.

See also ap.io/home/prospective-grad/