I work on statistical mechanics, studying the collective behaviour of systems with many particles. I typically analyse systems with strong interactions, making use of a variety of powerful mathematical tools. One such tool is integrability, which takes advantage of a panoply of symmetries constraining the system. Another is supersymmetry famous from particle physics,which yields interesting special properties in some interesting condensed-matter systems. Field theory underlies much of theoretical physics, with one particular focus in my work those with conformal symmetry.
These methods of strongly interacting statistical mechanics provide essential tools for analysing condensed matter. One particularly striking phenomenon needing them is when collective and microscopic behaviors are radically different, what now goes under the name of emergence. A prominent example is topological matter, where fractionalised excitations in effect split apart a
system’s constituents. Another is prethermal behaviour, where a system takes essentially forever to reach equilibrium. My work continually goes back and forth between the mathematical and the physical side, as no good understanding of these phenomena comes without taking both seriously.