String theory (and its alter ego M-theory) is currently the most viable candidate
for a unified theory of physics which describes all forces of nature, encompassing
the physics of gravity as well as quantum field theory. MIT is a main center
of research in string theory, with five faculty members and numerous postdocs
students working in this area.
Work on string theory at MIT is currently focused in several different directions. Dan Freedman (math/physics) is currently working on aspects of the AdS/CFT correspondence, which can be used to derive quantitative non-perturbative information about gauge field theories using gravity and string theory.
Hong Liu is working on string theory in time-dependent backgrounds, holography, and the AdS/CFT correspondence. Washington Taylor is working on nonperturbative formulations of string theory and on relating the space of string vacua to observable physics. Barton Zwiebach is working on tachyon condensation and string field theory, and he has recently written an undergraduate textbook on string theory.
The string group in the CTP interacts broadly with the other groups within the CTP, and with the astrophysics group in the physics department. Faculty in other departments working in string-related areas include Isadore Singer (math). In addition to the regular MIT faculty, Ashoke Sen spends two months each year with the group as the Morningstar visiting professor. Current long-term visitors and postdocs working in the area of string theory include Richard Brower and Brian Wecht.
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