You have reached the website of Jonathan Heckman
I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Pennsylvania.
I mainly work on aspects of high energy theoretical physics.
Dramatic progress in string theory over the past few decades has produced a suite of powerful tools for addressing conceptual questions connected with quantum field theory and quantum gravity. As an added bonus, string theory also provides a framework for motivated stringy extensions of particle physics. Combining these threads is of central importance in determining the mathematical consistency of string theory, and its potential role as a theory of the real world.
The broad questions my work aims to address are:
What is quantum field theory, and what are its limitations as a tool in describing Nature?
What are the building blocks of matter and spacetime?
String theory provides a promising way to address these issues since it is the only known viable approach to unifying quantum theory with gravity.
Currently, my efforts are concentrated in three directions:
1) The study of quantum field theory using the extra dimensions of string theory.
2) The study of formal and phenomenological aspects of string compactification, and in particular F-theory.
3) Conceptual questions connected with the embedding of field theoretic UV cutoffs in string theory.