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String Theory Groups in Europe

  1. Aug 31, 2013 #1
    Hi all!

    I am ready for applying for my PhD which I want to be on String Theory and in Europe. I am finishing my master's degree in Theoretical Physics and currently I am researching Holographic Renormalization for asymptotically non-AdS space-times.

    I am interested in all aspects of String Theory, Gauge/Gravity dualities/ black hole information(e.g. firewalls) etc.

    Can you suggest universities please? I would appreciate it even more if you justified why and not only mentioning the classics Cambridge and Oxford.

    Thank you very much!
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 1, 2013 #2
    Well, first of all if you want to work on string theory perhaps Europe could not be the best place to do so. According to my current supervisor (Master, I finish in like one month) being string theory really competitive field and with so many people working on it, to emerge you have to be in an important group, and important groups are mainly in the US.
    This told, the best choice coul be Utrecht, in Holland... and the reason is self-explanatory: there is t'Hooft there. Clearly you should manage to work with him, but if you do that is for sure a good group. Else, Cambridge may NOT be the perfect choice, remember they are much influenced by Hawking (who is there) and he is not so fond in string theory (at least the aspects like AdS/CFT governing Black Holes and so on). In England there are some groups working on AdS/CFT, at Southampton (but I don't know how it is there) and at King's College London I am sure there is professor Sakellariadou: I know her and I think she is good, but she works on strange topics in strings, like cosmological strings and so on, not the classical topics. Anyway have a look at her academic website and see if you could be interested http://www.kcl.ac.uk/nms/depts/physics/people/academicstaff/sakellariadou.aspx.
    As for others, I do not know in detail. There are many groups in Germany (like Dvali in Munich) but I can't be more precise as I don't know the situation there, as well as in the Northern Europe.

    Anyway all considered, the best choice should be if you can t'Hooft.
  4. Sep 1, 2013 #3
    But 't Hooft is not working in strings.. I am not sure why you say that he does. In Utrecht for example there is de Wit who is an actual string theorist but 't Hooft certainly is not (I think he currently works on some strange reformulation of QM).

    Also, as I pointed out, I am interested in many general aspects around strings. That is, gauge/string dualities, compactifications, black hole information e.t.c. Even the stuff E. Verlinde does I found them extremely interesting.

    Anyway, thanks for you help, I ll keep it in mind.
  5. Sep 1, 2013 #4
    Well, don't know what he is doing now, but a good part of the mathematical structure of strings is due to him I think... he is also one of the prometers of the Holographic Principle together with Leonard Susskind... anyway the only way I think is to ask someone working in the filed... I am theoretician but not exactly in string theory so I don't know probably most of the names. Anyway as I told, consider the US... the biggest names are there
  6. Sep 1, 2013 #5
    Thanks for your help.

    I cannot consider the US since I have no time to take the GRE's currently. Also, it is very expensive to apply to those universities. That is why I am asking for Europe. Of course I know the groups I want to work with, and the univerisities, I just want to see what other people also think.
  7. Sep 1, 2013 #6
  8. Sep 1, 2013 #7
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