Affiliation: University of Milan, IT
Keywords: Theoretical physics, string theory
My research is centered on string theory — a candidate for the ambitious task of unifying all forces and matter, and of quantizing gravity. In its most popular phase, this theory predicts six additional dimensions beyond the four we have observed so far. Most of my work concerns the “shape” of the tiny space spanned by these dimensions. I am particularly interested in the consequences of supersymmetry, a proposed new elementary symmetry that would explain some of the paradoxes of modern high-energy physics.
- My most important result is the characterization (with M. Graña, R. Minasian, M. Petrini) of the requirements imposed by supersymmetry on the six-dimensional space in terms of a “generalized complex geometry” that had been previously studied by mathematicians.
- I have clarified the nature of “massive” IIA string theory, the last corner of string theory without any known non-perturbative completion, by finding gauge theories (with D. Gaiotto) which are dual to some of its supersymmetric vacua.
- More recently, I have obtained characterizations of which curved spaces can support a supersymmetric field theory (with D. Cassani, K. Hristov, C. Klare, D. Martelli, A. Zaffaroni). For example, I showed that any complex four-dimensional manifold works.
- Also recently, I found gravity duals to six-dimensional field theories (with F. Apruzzi, M. Fazzi, D. Gaiotto, D. Rosa).
- I have also worked on several other aspects of string theory, such as the dynamics of D-branes on Calabi-Yau manifolds, non-commutativity, brane instantons.