# Shamit Kachru

Varian Physics Bldg. Rm.380

382 Via Pueblo Mall

Stanford University

Stanford, California 94305-4060

How can we use quantum field theory and string theory to understand key questions in high energy theory, cosmology, and condensed matter physics? Do the hints of deep mathematical structures underlying string theory contain new lessons for fundamental physics?

Professor Kachru is widely interested in the foundational theoretical questions underlying cosmology, condensed matter theory, particle theory, and quantum gravity. These include the nature of the initial cosmological singularity; the microscopic theory of inflation; field theory and string theory models of strongly correlated condensed matter systems; and possible solutions of the hierarchy problem (with implications for beyond-the-Standard-Model physics). He also has an abiding interest in the mathematical structure underlying string theory and string compactifications.

Current areas of focus:

- Finding mathematically precise criteria for the emergence of weakly curved space-time geometry from dual quantum field theories (through constraints on observables like the elliptic genus)
- Mysterious relations between modular forms, string compactifications, and sporadic simple groups (``Moonshine")
- Application of techniques of modern quantum field theory to develop a controlled understanding of novel phases of condensed matter systems

More details about this research can be found by following the links to some reasonably recent (technical!) talks about these subjects.

Spacetime emergence --

http://particle.physics.ucdavis.edu/seminars/data/media/2015/dec/kachru.pdf

Moonshine --

https://physics.princeton.edu/strings2014/slides/Kachru.pdf

Quantum critical metals --

http://www-old.newton.ac.uk/programmes/HOL/seminars/2013091916151.pdf

#### Career History

- A.B., Harvard University, 1990
- Ph.D., Princeton University, 1994
- Junior Fellow, Harvard Society of Fellows, 1994-96
- Research Associate, Rutgers University, 1996-97
- Assistant Professor, UC Berkeley, 1997-99
- Member, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, 1999
- KITP Member and Visiting Professor, UCSB, 2009-10
- Associate, Full Professor, Stanford University, 1999-present

#### Honors and Awards

- Department of Energy Outstanding Junior Investigator Award, 1997
- Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship, 1998
- Bergmann Memorial Award, 1999
- Packard Foundation Fellowship, 2000
- ACIPA Outstanding Young Physicist Prize, 2008
- Distinguished Visiting Research Chair, Perimeter Institute, 2014-
- Plenary speaker, XVIIIth International Congress on Mathematical Physics, Santiago, 2015
- American Institute of Mathematics SQuaRE grant, "Moonshine and string theory," 2016-

#### PRofessional service

- Scientific Advisory Committee, Perimeter Institute, 2015-
- Editorial Board, Research in Mathematical Sciences, 2015-
- Advisory Board, KITP, 2014-
- Member, Aspen Center for Physics, 2006-15
- External organizer, ICTP spring school, 2007-10
- Editor, JHEP, 2004-
- External organizer, TASI, 1999, 2005, 2007

#### PhD students

- Max Zimet (current student)
- Nathan Benjamin (current student)
- Natalie Paquette (current student)
- Dan Whalen (on leave at Amsterdam)
- Huajia Wang (to University of Illinois postdoc Fall 2015)
- Sarah Harrison (to Harvard postdoc, joint math/physics faculty at McGill starting Fall 2017)
- Dusan Simic (to KITP postdoc)
- Mike Mulligan (to MIT postdoc, now faculty at UC Riverside)
- Wu-yen Chuang (to Rutgers postdoc, now Mathematics faculty at National Taiwan University)
- Alexander Giryavets (now Vice-President at Morgan Stanley)
- Xiao Liu (to Perimeter Institute postdoc, now faculty at UESTC)
- Liam McAllister (to Princeton postdoc, now Cornell faculty)
- John McGreevy (to Princeton postdoc, now UCSD faculty)
- Michael Schulz (to Caltech postdoc, now Bryn Mawr faculty)

#### UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH STUDENTS

- Preethi Pallegar (summer 2015)
- Marc Robbins (summer 2015)
- Zhiming Wang (summer 2015)
- Temple He, 2009-10 (now in graduate school at Harvard)
- Daniel Balick, 2005-06 (UCSB PhD in theoretical biology, now at Harvard)
- Christopher Beem, 2005-06 (Berkeley PhD in string theory, now at IAS)
- Dan Wohns, 2005-06 (Cornell PhD in string theory)