I am interested in quantum gravity and cosmology. My research focuses on the deep role that quantum information plays in these settings. According to the covariant entropy bound, the geometry of spacetime is closely related to its information content. We have sharpened and strengthened this "holographic" relation in recent years. Though strictly a hypothesis about quantum gravity, entropy bounds have become a discovery tool that is yielding new, provable features of relativistic quantum field theory, such as the quantum null energy condition. These and related insights have led to fruitful interactions with quantum information theory and condensed matter physics. They also have useful applications to benchmarking current quantum computing platforms. I lead GeoFlow, a multi-institutional consortium of theorists and experimentalists working at the interface of these areas.
Brief bio: I grew up in southern Germany. (I was born and have family in Israel but never lived there.) When I was little, I thought math was interesting, and I still do. But I decided instead to try to figure out how the universe works. I studied with Stephen Hawking in Cambridge, and I spent postdoc years at Stanford, KITP (Santa Barbara), and Harvard, before joining UC Berkeley as faculty (since 2003).
Complexity and QFT
Entanglement in CFTs
My research focus is centered around quantum field theory and quantum gravity. I am currently interested in understanding entanglement in QFT using algebraic methods such as Tomita-Takesaki theory, as well as defect CFT methods. I am particularly interested in the connection between these ideas and black hole thermodynamics, specifically in understanding its boundary description within AdS/CFT. I have also worked on using covariant phase space techniques to study the “edge mode” degrees of freedom associated to null boundaries, including dynamical event horizons.
I’m interested in applications of (quantum) computation in better understanding holography.