The research effort of the high energy theory group covers a wide range of fields, including quantum field theory, string theory, quantum gravity models in various dimensions, the theory of turbulence, particle cosmology, phenomenology of the Standard Model and beyond, and also computer simulations of problems that arise in these areas.
The activity in string theory and quantum gravity is aimed at developing a quantum theory that incorporates the physics of gravity and is valid down to the smallest length scales, where conventional quantum field theory can no longer be applied. There has been rapid progress in this area in recent years, in part due to work of Princeton faculty and students, and it continues to be a fertile source of research problems.
Black hole theory provides an important testing ground for the quantum theory of gravity and in recent work significant progress has been achieved in explaining black hole entropy and Hawking radiation from a more fundamental point of view. Work on quantum black holes has led to new relations between strings and non-Abelian gauge theory. This application of string theory has already provided new insights into strongly coupled gauge theories, and it continues to be an exciting area.
Members of the high energy theory group are also involved in cross-disciplinary research, applying field theoretic techniques to a variety of problems, including turbulent flow, dissipative quantum systems, the quantum Hall effect, and heavy-ion collisions, to name a few.