Quantum field theory (QFT) and General relativity (GR) are two basic pillars of fundamental physics, providing us a modern language to describe the origin and structure of matter range over all length scales from subatomic to cosmological. The unification of these two pillars into a single conceptual framework, referred as “quantum gravity”, remains a long term goal of theoretical physics. Meanwhile, new states of matter have been discovered that do not fit in this theoretical framework due to that our detailed understanding is typically reduced to weakly interacting system. Understanding strongly coupled physics (e.g. in high Tc superconductors, quark-gluon plasmas etc.) has been a theoretical challenge.
Gauge/gravity duality (also known as holography, the AdS/CFT correspondence), first discovered by theoretical physicist Juan Maldacena in 1997, is one of the most exciting and promising developments in theoretical physics of the last decade. Gauge/gravity duality has opened a new and remarkable “holographic” window on both quantum gravity and the strongly coupled problem because it maps a hard problem in one domain (e.g. the gauge theory for the low-temperature phase diagram of strongly interacting electron or quantum gravity) into a tractable problem in the other domain (e.g. the gravitational curved spacetime near a black hole or weakly coupled QFT).
The duality has the potential to explain lots of the mysterious phenomenon that can not be described by the familiar theoretical framework, touching on fields as diverse as heavy ion collisions, fluid dynamics, black holes, superconductivity and topological matter (Weyl semimetal, graphene). The application of AdS/CFT to fluid dynamics (or QCD/nuclear physics, or condensed matter physics) is known as fluid/gravity duality (AdS/QCD, AdS/CMT). These developments have led to great excitement and a vigorous research activity worldwide.
The focus of my current research is on the fundamental and applied aspects of gauge/gravity duality. Together with my collaborators, we finished a (first) textbook on AdS/CMT “Holography duality in condensed matter physics” which has been published by Cambridge University Press in 2015. The book can be found from CUP. My research papers can be found from inSPIRE and google scholar .