Shamit Kachru

Professor of Physics and Director, Stanford Institute for Theoretical Physics
Department: Physics
Ph.D., Princeton University, Physics (1994)
A.B., Harvard University, Physics (1990)
Shamit Kachru
Starting fall of 2021, I am winding down a term as chair of physics and then taking an extended sabbatical/leave. My focus during this period will be on updating my background and competence in rapidly growing new areas of interest including machine learning and its application to problems involving large datasets.

My recent research interests have included mathematical and computational studies of evolutionary dynamics; field theoretic condensed matter physics, including study of non-Fermi liquids and fracton phases; and mathematical aspects of string theory. I would characterize my research programs in these three areas as being in the fledgling stage, relatively recently established, and well developed, respectively.

It is hard to know what the future holds, but you can get some idea of the kinds of things I work on by looking at my past. Highlights of my past research include:

- The discovery of string dualities with 4d N=2 supersymmetry, and their use to find exact solutions of gauge theories (with Cumrun Vafa)
- The construction of the first examples of AdS/CFT duality with reduced supersymmetry (with Eva Silverstein)
- Foundational papers on string compactification in the presence of background fluxes (with Steve Giddings and Joe Polchinski)
- Basic models of cosmic acceleration in string theory (with Renata Kallosh, Andrei Linde, and Sandip Trivedi)
- First computation of the non-Gaussianity in general single field inflation (with Xingang Chen, Min-xin Huang, and Gary Shiu)
- Developing the framework underlying holography for non-relativistic field theories, relevant for modeling quantum matter at finite density (with Xiao Liu and Michael Mulligan)
- Simple and tractable models of non-Fermi liquids (with Liam Fitzpatrick, Jared Kaplan, and Sri Raghu)
- Studies of adaptive trade-offs in evolutionary dynamics of organisms exposed to a varying environment (with Daniel Fisher and Mikhail Tikhonov)
- Developing a new approach — using string duality — to find precise expressions for Ricci flat metrics on K3 surfaces (with Arnav Tripathy and Max Zimet)


For details about my present and former students, please see the “Research and Scholarship” link in my full Stanford profile.

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Research Interests