a supermassive black hole (computer-generated image)
A computer-generated image of a supermassive black hole at the core of a galaxy. The black region in the center represents the black hole’s event horizon, where no light can escape the massive object’s gravitational grip. The black hole’s powerful gravity distorts space around it like a funhouse mirror. Light from background stars is stretched and smeared as the stars skim by the black hole. Photo credit: NASA, ESA, and D. Coe, J. Anderson, and R. van der Marel (STScI)

To probe the symmetries of the elementary particles and fundamental forces and their deeper relation to the ultimate truth is the goal of modern particle theory.

At The University of Alabama this work is undertaken on a broad front from lower dimensional field theoretic models to relativistic superstring theory to the current phenomenology of particle reactions to the gravitational theory of black holes.

Our faculty and their current research interests are

  • Benjamin Harms — cosmology and theory of black holes
    The goal of the program is to predict how objects with horizons (black holes) interact with other objects when quantum effects are taken into account.
    Synopsis of recent work
  • Matthias Kaminski – Holographic principle, gauge/gravity correspondence, quantum field theory, string theory.  The research goal is to connect fundamental theoretical principles with feasible experiments.
  • Nobuchika Okada — astroparticle and collider physics
    Research is focussed on signals for new physics at the LHC and in astrophysical observations.
  • Allen Stern — quantum groups, non-commutative geometry, and low dimensional models
    Quantum groups offer a new procedure for quantizing a classical theory. They have possible applications in generalizing gauge theories as well as in describing systems with exotic statistics.

If you are a student with a possible interest in elementary particle theory we would be glad to hear from you via e-mail or otherwise. Please contact one of the theorists above or the Department of Physics & Astronomy for information about graduate study.