# Thomas Hartman

Professor

Quantum gravity; Quantum field theory; String theory; Black holes

## Research

My research is on fundamental aspects of quantum gravity and quantum field theory, with a focus on black hole information and strongly interacting quantum fields. I use a variety of techniques from string theory, holographic duality, general relativity, and quantum information.

*Gauge/Gravity Duality*

Recent advances in string theory and quantum gravity suggest that spacetime, and the laws of gravity that govern it, are emergent phenomena resulting from the collective behavior of a large number of unknown degrees of freedom. This idea underlies gauge/gravity duality, which is an exact relation between quantum gravity and a lower-dimensional quantum field theory. One goal of my research is to understand how the degrees of freedom in a quantum field theory reorganize themselves into a fluctuating spacetime, and to use gauge/gravity duality as a model for a more complete theory of quantum gravity.

*Black Hole Information*

Black holes play an important role in quantum gravity because they can be viewed in two very different ways: as classical solutions of general relativity, or as quantum statistical systems obeying the laws of the thermodynamics. I am exploring this relationship in various contexts, including 3d gravity and more realistic Kerr black holes, by applying techniques from quantum information and statistical mechanics to problems in quantum gravity.

*New Approaches to Quantum Field Theory*

I am developing new methods to study strongly interacting quantum fields based on dualities, bootstrap techniques, and entanglement dynamics, with applications to critical phenomena, transport, and renormalization group flows.

*The Physics of de Sitter Space*

Ultimately, quantum gravity must be tested by experiment. There are two regimes of the known universe where quantum gravitational effects are large: black hole interiors and the very early universe. It is possible that fundamentally new ideas are needed to understand this regime, so I am working on new approaches to inflation and the physics of de Sitter space inspired by black hole information and gauge/gravity duality.

## Educational Background

A.B., Physics, Princeton University, 2004. Ph.D., Physics, Harvard University, 2010. Member, School of Natural Sciences, Institute for Advanced Study, 2010 - 2013. Research Associate, Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, UCSB, 2013-2014. Assistant Professor, Cornell University, 2014-2020. Associate Professor, Cornell University, 2020 - 2022. Professor, Cornell University, 2022- present.