Katrin Becker

Our understanding of the fundamental laws of nature is based on principles which contradict each other. To describe gravitation and physics at large distances we use general relativity. This is a classical theory. The predictions of general relativity have been confirmed in all observations and experiments to date. General relativity has important astrophysical implications. However, classical physics predicts that matter is unstable. To describe subatomic particles and forces (electromagnetism, the weak and the strong forces) we use a different set of rules based on quantum field theory. In our quest for the fundamental laws of nature we are lead to wonder how to construct a theory of quantum gravity, a theory which reconciles gravity with quantum physics. Prof. K. Becker works on string theory.

This is a quantum theory which predicts gravitation instead of contradicting it and it could be the unified theory of nature. It is a fascinating and unique framework. Some of the simplest string theories give rise to the known forces and patterns of elementary particles (chiral gauge couplings and a replication as families or generations). Prof. K. Becker has co-authored some widely cited papers on supersymmetric cylces and flux compactifications in string theory. Currently she works in pertubative string theory.

She is a co-author of a textbook on string theory published by Cambridge University Press: http://www.cambridge.org/us/academic/subjects/physics/theoretical-physics-and-mathematical-physics/string-theory-and-m-theory-modern-introduction?format=HB

» High Energy Theory Group

Katrin Becker
458-7913
MIST M518