Strings, Branes, and Higher Spin Theories Grant uri icon


  • This award funds the research activities of Professors Katrin Becker, Melanie Becker, and Ergin Sezgin at Texas A&M University.String theory requires gravity and extends the standard model of particle physics and grand unified theories. Its mathematical consistency requires more than the four spacetime dimensions, and the ways in which the extra dimensions are dealth with in turn determines the observed particles and forces. Therefore, it is important to understand the imprints left by the geometry and topology of the extra dimensions on the observed four-dimensional spacetime. The PI''s will explore fundamental aspects of string theory and supergravity as they relate to these issues. As such, this project advances the national interest by promoting progress in science and the search for new physical laws describing uncharted territories of quantum gravity. This project is also envisioned to have broader impact by boosting the interfaces between string theory and mathematics. The PIs will also provide critical training to postdocs and students, and intend to give public lectures on their research results and organize workshops.More technically, the PIs aim to construct the full spacetime effective action of different string theory and M-theory compactifications to all orders in the slope parameter and its formulation in superspace. Their goal is to use physics to solve long-standing problems in mathematics (e.g,. the search of a "Calabi-Yau-type" theorem for manifolds with exceptional holonomy or to search for an analogue of mirror symmetry). Further, the PI''s will study the construction of an action principle for higher-spin theory, its quantization, higher-spin invariant functionals, and higher-spin black holes. They will also study supersymmetric field theories in curved backgrounds, superconformal field theories in diverse dimensions, and a geometrical description of duality symmetries of strings and branes.

date/time interval

  • 2015 - 2019