What basic, microscopic building blocks does our universe consist of? This fascinating question I try to answer with my research.
I am a theoretical physicist, and my work consists of ' zooming in ' on the microscopic structure of matter and space time – the fundamental filament that our universe consists of. I use a mathematical sort of microscope to zoom in on the very smallest scales, which not even the most powerful experiments such as the LHC experiments at CERN can measure.
It is on these small scales that quantum physics begins to influence the structure of spacetime. The question is then, whether the spacetime on these scales is divided into discrete "spacetime atoms"? Or whether it keeps being continuous, so it looks like a complex mathematical structure, a fractal? Our most advanced spacetime theory, Einstein's General theory of relativity, cannot answer these questions as it does not include quantum effects.
That is why I am working to develop a new, more fundamental theory of quantum spacetime and matter. I work with three different ways of solving this problem: with a focus on asymptotic safe quantum gravity, causality kits and tensor models. These already provide a fascinating insight into the universe's microscopic building blocks and their properties. In the end, these insights can hopefully be incorporated into a complete, fundamental understanding of quantum time and substance.
This theory will be able to reveal the origins of the universe, the characteristics of space in black holes, and the microscopic interactions of matter with spacetime on the smallest possible scales.