QCD meets gravity

Research Group: 
Centre for Research in String Theory
Number of Students: 
Length of Study in Years: 
Full-time Project: 
QM Scholarship
Project Description: 
Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD) is the theory of quarks and gluons, and has wide applicability in collider physics experiments such as the LHC. Gravity is described by a very different theory (General Relativity), and the search for a consistent quantum gravity theory, believed to be important for black hole physics as well as the Big Bang itself, is ongoing.

Recently, a striking correspondence (the “double copy”) has been observed between scattering probabilities in QCD-like theories, and gravity. The results suggest that these two types of theory may be much more closely related than previously thought, offering completely new insights into quantum gravity.

In this project, students will explore the double copy, and play a leading role in developing new applications. Potential projects include: the matching of classical solutions in QCD / gravity (including supersymmetric generalisations); applications of the double copy in describing gravitational radiation (e.g. for gravitational wave experiments); applications of the double copy to cosmology. Students may also explore potential links with string theory.
Existing knowledge of Quantum Field Theory and General Relativity is essential. Familiarity with non-abelian gauge theories is very useful.
SPA Academics: 
Christopher White