Applications of compactified String Theory to early Universe Cosmology

Research Group: 
Centre for Research in String Theory
Number of Students: 
Length of Study in Years: 
Full-time Project: 
QM Scholarship
Project Description: 
String theory has provided us with a theoretical framework in which the standard model of particle physics (and its extensions) along with gravity, are unified. As such, it provides us with a unique tool with which we can probe some of the most fascinating and fundamental aspects of our Universe. These include studying physics at distance scales ranging from the smallest imaginable, the Planck length, where the very nature of space and time is probed, all the way up to the very largest cosmological distance scales of our Universe and beyond. Whilst it is certainly the case that currently we do not fully understand all aspects of string theory, what we do understand provides a very rich arena with which we can try and answer questions such where did the standard model come from ? what might be the origin of our Universe ? Can string theory provide a microscopic model of
primordial cosmological inflation? Trying to answer this last question (and many related ones) is what the subject of 'String Cosmology' is all about. The PhD project offered will involve investigations into models of so called 'D-brane inflation'. These models in some sense provide us with the most stringy inflation mechanism one might imagine because D-branes are inherently stringy objects. Current and future precision data from the Planck satellite observations of Cosmic Microwave Background radiation along with the very recent discovery of B-mode polarization of the CMB by the South Polar Telescope are expected to distinguish between the plethora of inflationary models and in some case rule them out all together. The models of inflation developed in the project and their observational predictions will be tested against this data.

An undergraduate M.Sci. Degree in Theoretical Physics or Mathematics & Physics with knowledge of Quantum Field Theory and General Relativity.
Some knowledge of String Theory and Supersymmetry will be an advantage.
Alternatively an undergraduate B.Sc.. Degree in Theoretical Physics or Mathematics & Physics plus an M.Sc. in Theoretical physics covering advanced courses in Quantum Field Theory, General Relativity.
Some knowledge of String Theory and Supersymmetry will be an advantage.
SPA Academics: 
Steve Thomas