Elite Network: Gravity Duality

Gauge / Gravity Duality

Describing strongly coupled quantum field theories via the gauge / gravity duality allows to trans­late problems that are intractable with current methods to questions in gravitational theories that are relatively easy to address. Our research group investigates to what extend methods from non-perturbative quantum gravity can be used in this context, and whether quantum field theories at a finite number of colors can be described in this way.

The Junior Research Group at a glance

Place of researchUniversity Regensburg
AssociationElite Graduate Program “Physics with integrated Doctorate Program”
Project duration2017 to 2022
Group leaderDr. Norbert Bodendorfer
Contact the group leader

A duality between gravity and nuclear physics

The gauge / gravity duality, one of the most im­por­tant developments in theoretical physics over the last 20 years, allows to translate questions in quantum field theories to questions in quantum gravitational theories. Computations that are extremely com­pli­cated on one side of the duality are often much simpler on the other side. This opens up many new possible avenues, in particular for addressing problems in strongly coupled quantum field theories.

Our research group will work on these questions in collaboration with experts from Regensburg. The unique focus of the group consists of employing techniques from loop quantum gravity on the gravitational side. These allow to explore sectors of quantum gravity theories that are usually in­ac­ces­sib­le using more standard, in particular per­tur­ba­tive, techniques. Our goal is to use these insights to learn about quantum field theories at a finite number of colors (e.g. “red”, “blue”, and “green” quarks in the strong nuclear interactions), which is not possible using only classical gravity.

The dual fate of the big bang

An example on the gravitational side of the duality would be the singu­larity at the begin­ning of our universe (big bang), which is replaced in models of quantum gravity by a regular spacetime structure. The implications for the field theory side via the duality is part of our investigations.


The method of choice to produce evidence on the field theory side for such dualities is in particular lattice gauge theory, an area of focus of the physics department in Regensburg.

Next to this new application of loop quantum gravity, it is a goal of the Junior Research Group "Gauge / Gravity Duality" to strengthen col­lab­oration between experts in the relevant research areas.

Portrait photo: Dr. Norbert Bodendorfer

The research in our group is rather diverse and combines different approaches to the construction of physical theories via a very interesting and useful duality relation.

Dr. Norbert Bodendorfer

The central geographical location of Regensburg between Erlangen (loop quantum gravity), Munich (string theory), and Würzburg (gauge / gravity duality) along with its own focus is ideal for this purpose.

The International Junior Research Group cooperates with the Elite Graduate Program "Physics with Integrated Doctorate Program" of the Universities of Regensburg and Erlangen-Nuremberg.

Further cooperations

Friedrich-Schiller-University JenaJena, Germany
Julius-Maximilians-University WürzburgWürzburg, Germany
Ludwig-Maximilians-University MunichMunich, Germany
Okinawa Institute for Science and TechnologyOnna, Japan
University of KyotoKyoto, Japan
University of TurinTurin, Italy