John McGreevy

John McGreevy

Ph. D., Stanford University, 2002

Contact

Office: MH 5222
Phone: 858-534-1837

Research Statement

The primary goal of Professor McGreevy's current research is to find physical applications of string theory. There are two, wildly different, ways in which this might happen. One possibility is that string theory will be useful in its capacity as a short-distance completion of models of physics which include gravity. Some areas of inquiry for which such a short-distance completion is useful include models of cosmological inflation, some mechanisms for supersymmetry breaking, particle physics ideas involving extra dimensions, and questions about spacetime topology change. The second possibility for contact between string theory and observation arises via holographic duality, an amazing equivalence between string theory in some backgrounds and ordinary quantum field theories, of the kind used to describe many interesting, real physical systems. Through this correspondence, there exists the exciting possibility that results of some laboratory experiments may have a useful description in terms of gravity in extra dimensions. McGreevy and his research collaborators have made progress towards describing a number of systems which have proven difficult for standard techniques, including cold fermionic atoms at unitarity, and non-Fermi liquid metals.