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25 september 2017

Approved FOM programme

Number 121.
Title A string theoretic approach to cosmology and quantum matter (CQ)
Executive organisational unit BUW
Programme management Prof.dr. E.P. Verlinde
Duration 2010-2014
Cost estimate M€ 2.2

The objective of this programme is to employ and further develop the new insights into theore­tical physics that have emerged from string theory, to study its implications for cosmology and its applications to areas of physics such as high temperature QCD and condensed matter theory.

Background, relevance and implementation
This proposal is aimed at developing and studying a few specific applications of string theory The two central themes of the research programme are cosmology and holography. These are two of the most promising and urgent areas in terms of their prospects of connecting the theore­tical ideas developed within string theory with and applying them to observed physical phenomena.

The new insights provided by holography in strongly coupled systems can potentially lead to a theoretical breakthrough in important problems in QCD and condensed matter theory. In addition, current experiments (e.g. WMAP, RHIC) and near future experimental data (especially LHC and PLANCK) will guide the theoretical studies in cosmology and its interface with particle physics.

The six main research topics of the programme are a) Inflation from string theory, b) Time-dependence and singularities, c) Holography and Cosmology, d) Applications to QCD, e) Applications to Condensed Matter Theory, f) Dynamical Aspects of Black Holes. Three scientists are assigned to each research topic who are made responsible for implementing a successful research strategy.

The specific projects involve PhD students and postdocs, and are run at four locations, namely at the Universities of Amsterdam, Groningen, Leiden, and Utrecht. In addition there is a guest programme, annual workshops and theme meetings. These activities are part of the programme management and will be coordinated by the programme leader, assisted by two appointed members.

The final evaluation of this programme will consist of a self-evaluation initiated by the programme leader and is foreseen for 2015.

Please find a research highlight that was achieved in 2013 within this FOM programme here.