Mathematical Physics and String Theory

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Quantum Gravity and Foundations of Physics Research Group

  Our research is centered around the problem of Quantum Gravity, but spans a large number of topics related to it, in mathematical/theoretical physics, foundations and philosophy of physics, up to philosophy of science more generally.

We work on the construction of compelling models of the microstructure of quantum spacetime, mostly in the context of tensorial group field theory (random tensor models, group field theories), spin foam models, canonical loop quantum gravity and lattice gravity. These models are also a rich source of interesting mathematical physics results.
We study their encoding of quantum geometry as well as their quantum dynamics, also with an extensive use of ideas and techniques from quantum information. We employ renormalization techniques to establish their continuum phase diagram, to identify the regime in which continuum spacetime and geometry emerge from the fundamental quantum description.
A main goal is to extract from quantum gravity an effective description of our universe that could provide answers to outstanding open issues in fundamental cosmology, concerning the very early universe and the dark energy problem, but also in the context of black hole physics.
Motivated also by quantum gravity considerations, we explore broader issues in the foundations of physics, having to do with locality, causality, general covariance and other basic ingredients of modern theoretical physics, with the interpretation of quantum mechanics and the foundations of statistical mechanics, and philosophy (metaphysics, epistemology) of quantum gravity. We also venture in the direction of more general philosophy of science issues, looking at topics like scientific realism, or scientific theory construction/assessment.