Duality, Geometry and Spacetime

Project Details


String Theory is a leading approach to the problem of Quantum Gravity. Its simple premise is to replace point particles with string-like extended objects whose quantum excitations include the graviton particle of gravity. Their extended nature gives strings the ability to wind around compact spatial dimensions leading to the remarkable phenomenon of T-duality: the equivalence of strings
on a circle of large radius R and those on small circle of radius 1/R. T-duality is the tip of a wider class of dualities, U-dualities, which paved the way to the idea of M-theory, an all-encompassing theory that unites all of the different duality related regimes of string theory.

Our overarching goal is to investigate the geometric nature of spacetime invoked by string theory and its dualities. The past few years have seen tremendous progress with the development of new duality symmetric formulations of M-theory and String Theory, which have become central topics of wide international interest. The reason for the excitement is that by treating string momenta and winding modes democratically one uncovers not only an elegant reformulation of the string but one probes the intrinsically "stringy" fabric of spacetime hitting the heart of the matter of string versus point particle. To address this deep problem, new geometric notions are being developed and as a result promise a radical departure from the classical conventional viewpoint providing insights into the emergent nature of space.
Effective start/end date1/01/1931/12/22

Flemish discipline codes

  • Quantum physics not elsewhere classified


  • String theory