Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Orion Ning L&S Sciences

Compactification of Anomalies in Six-Dimensional Interacting Quantum Field Theory

Quantum field theory (QFT) — a theory describing subatomic particles as excitations of fundamental ‘fields’ — has long been established as the de facto framework for modern particle physics, yet it remains a topic riddled with open problems. Interacting QFTs in higher dimensions, particularly 6D, is one such problem, motivated by string theory, a highly theoretical mathematical model attempting to describe all of nature. These interacting QFTs have Lagrangians (precursors to ‘equations of motion’) that can probe M5-branes, which are objects of fundamental interest in string theory. However, the Lagrangians for these theories are susceptible to quantum anomalies, which are red flags indicating that a symmetry of classical physics is incompatible with quantum mechanics. Analysis of the behavior of these anomalies, and the quantum interactions they induce in the corresponding theory, can be explored by looking at their consequences in lower dimensions. My research will investigate the lower-dimensional behavior of the anomalous properties of certain interacting 6-dimensional quantum field theories using the techniques of compactification to ‘reduce’ dimensions, and, in turn, gain insight into the anomalies.

Message To Sponsor

To the Anselm Math & Physical Sciences fund, it would be an understatement to say that I am incredibly grateful for the funding provided for my research. Not only does this invaluable opportunity allow me to dive deeply into theoretical physics research, but it also strengthens my resolve to pursue similar topics in graduate school and in academia as a profession. The experience, insight, and joy that I had conducted this summer project were priceless. I am more than excited to continue this work during the academic year. Thank you for your support!
Profile image of Orion Ning
Major: Physics, Mathematics
Mentor: Ori Ganor
Sponsor: Anselm Fund
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