Hao Zhang

Last Update 2023/11/01
I am a theoretical highenergy physicist, and my primary research interest is string theory.
String theory is the most promising underlying theory that is capable of unifying the standard model of particle physics and general relativity. However, the description string theory at strongcoupling regime is yet far from complete. Therefore, the fundamental goal of my research is to better understand the strongcoupling regime of string theory beyond our current knowledge.
Recently, a specific pointofview I am taking is generalized symmetries, a generalization of the ordinary notion of global and gauge symmetries that probes extended objects in a physical theory.
 As an important preparation, it is instructive to determine the generalized global symmetries in various QFTs that are constructed from string theory.
 As a next step, one can then use generalized symmetries as useful probes of stronglycoupled string theory. When combined with string duality and consistency under gravity ("Swampland Conjectures"), such symmetries can give strong hints of what are the current descriptions of string theory missing.
 With these hints and clues, I hope to eventually make progress the (very ambitious) questions of reformulating string theory in its stronglycoupled regime.
As message for our broader community: my research will most likely not lead to any observable predictions during our lifetime, due to the limited growth rate of collider energy scale of our human civilization (which is already fascinating). But during my adventure, I will likely see hints for some delicate mathematical structures that are to be formulated and proven by our mathematician friends. On the other hand, I think it is a shared dream among string theorists, including myself, that our work might be relevant for observable consequences in the far future, say after hundreds of years.
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