Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Congratulations to Catherine Whiting for successfully defending her PhD dissertation on "Duality Symmetries in String-Inspired Supergravity: T-Dualities and the Gauge/Gravity Correspondence."

"String theory is an important theoretical tool that unlike any other theory, incorporates gravity together with the other fundamental forces of nature. As a surprising by-product, string theory is also able to describe two completely different theories, i.e. dual theories (or forces), in such a way that one may use the computational ease of one theory to extract nearly intractable calculations in its "dual" theory. The example that epitomizes this dual correspondence is the Anti-DeSitter/Conformal Field theory Correspondence aka AdS/CFT. The duals here are a quantum gauge field theory similar to nuclear physics in 4 dimensions and a classical gravitational theory in 5 dimensions. This correspondence provided insights into both theories that were previously unknown. In this thesis a more general correspondence now called the gauge/gravity correspondence is explored by exploiting very specific mathematical symmetry transformations on known gravitational theories to generate not only new solutions to gravitational field equations, but also identify new dual gauge theories associated with these new solutions. This work is expected to lend insight into some of the strongly interacting theories such as everyday nuclear physics."
— Vincent Rodgers, PhD advisor

Dr. Whiting will join the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa as a postdoctoral fellow in August of 2015.

List of Recent Graduates