Physics Colloquium: Leonardo Rastelli, "Pulling yourself up by your bootstraps in quantum gravity"

Physics Colloquium

Wednesday, September 22, 2021 from 04:00 PM to 05:00 PM
Where                        by zoom (please contact Prof. Ganeshan for details)
Contact Name          Sriram Ganeshan
Contact Phone         212-650-6085

Pulling yourself up by your bootstraps in quantum gravity

Leonardo Rastelli
Department of Physics and Astronomy

Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY


The bootstrap program leverages symmetry and mathematical consistency to study strongly coupled quantum systems. Its flagship result has been the solution of the 3D critical Ising model from abstract principles alone.  In this talk I will outline how universal properties of quantum gravity can also be studied from a bootstrap perspective.  A surprising discovery has been a connection between black hole thermodynamics and the sphere packing problem, a venerable question in pure mathematics.


Professor Rastelli’s research interests lie at the intersection of quantum field theory and string theory. They have ranged from structural aspects of string theory to purely field-theoretic questions, while usually straddling these two poles. As a graduate student he pioneered the calculation of correlation functions in the AdS/CFT correspondence. Some of his best-known work is in open string field theory, where he introduced new analytic methods that paved the way for a class of exact solutions of the classical equations of motion. Rastelli is currently pursuing the bootstrap program for superconformal field theories. The goal is to chart the space of superconformal field theories in different spacetime dimensions, and to solve concrete models of particular interest, relying only on general symmetry principles and internal consistency requirements (the bootstrap hypothesis). To this end, he is employing a novel combination of mathematical physics and of numerical experimentation. Rastelli is the recipient of an Outstanding Junior Investigator Award, of a Simons Fellowship and of a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Last Updated: 09/14/2021 08:09