A little bit about me
I am an associate professor in the Department of
Physics and Astronomy at James
My research is in mathematical physics, and my main interests
are in quantum field theory and string theory. My recent
research interests include two-dimensional conformal field
theory in its relation to geometry and the landscape of string
vacua, soliton form factors, and aspects of string
I studied at Cornell
and at Duke and have been a postodoc at
Fermi Institute at the University of Chicago, at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational
Physics (the Albert Einstein Institute), the Mitchell Institute for
Fundamental Physics and Astronomy at Texas A&M, and most
recently in the
Mathematics at Harvard.
More information of this sort may be found in my CV .
A little bit about strings
String theory is a branch of modern theoretical
physics with the broad and ambitious aim of reconciling two
indubitable experimental facts: the remarkable success of
general relativity to describe large scale phenomena such as
planets, stars, and galaxies, and the success of quantum
mechanics, embodied by local quantum field theory, to describe
the microscopic dynamics of (seemingly) fundamental particles
such as quarks, electrons, and photons. There are, by now,
many sources where one might learn more about string theory; one
of my favorite places is the incredibly beautiful introductory
chapter of the classic GSW
text. An introduction to some central features of my work
may be found here.
- the best way to reach me is by email: the invocation is
melnikix at JMU dot EDU .
- my office is 2154 in the Physics and Chemistry Building.
- my office telephone number is 540 568 5141 .
- the day-to-day life
- I am on educational leave through August 2024. I will be spending this time at the University of Paris and at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics.
If you would like to contact me, please use the email address above!
- current research interests
- quantum field theory in two dimensions
- solitons and non-perturbative phenomena in quantum field
- supersymmetric sigma models
- worldsheet-exact results in heterotic compactifications
(massless spectra, Yukawa couplings, etc)
- stringy geometry: resolution of singularities in
geometry and conformal field theory, extensions of mirror
- superconformal field theory
- conformal perturbation theory and moduli space geometry
- string duality
- some future research
directions and exciting questions
- most of my papers are on SPIRES
; a few more from my younger days are listed in the CV
- here are some representation
theory lecture notes from a course at A&M in the
spring of 2014.
- I recently finished a book on (0,2) quantum field
theory in two dimensions. You can take a look here.
- conferences, past and future
- I co-organized several workshops on (0,2)
theories. These were lots of fun and led to new
collaborations and discussions. Here you can find a
little bit about them:
- Here are a few sets of slides of talks I have given
- friendly collaborators
I have been very lucky to work with many wonderful
people over the years. I learned lots of string theory
and geometry from Paul Aspinwall, Dave Morrison, and Ronen Plesser, as well as my
fellow grads at Duke, Carina Curto and Sven
Rinke; there I also had a chance to meet Anda
Degeratu, who has cleared up much geometric confusion
over the years, as well as Eric Sharpe -
a constant source of many fun discussions, questions, and
answers. At Chicago I had the opportunity to work with Emil Martinec,
Sav Sethi, and especially with Jock McOrist . During my
time at AEI I had the pleasure of working with Ruben
Minasian and Stefan Theisen. At A&M
I really enjoyed working with Andy
Royston, and we have since renewed our collaboration,
together with Costis
- I am living in Harrisonburg, VA together with Adrienne, and
our daughter Athena.
- I like to bike, run, and climb.