Research group

My research group is part of the Quantum Gravity unit that belongs to the research unit Theoretical High-Energy Physics which is part of the Van Swinderen Institute for Particle Physics and Gravity.

Presently, the research group consists of:
(The telephone number is +31 (0)50 363 xxxx .)

PhD students



Gökhan Alkac

  Room: 5111.0143
  Phone: 9043

  Athanasios Chatzistavrakidis

  Room: 5111.0113
  Phone: 4968

Luca Basanisi

  Room: 5111.0175
  Phone: 4961


Former Postdocs

Former PhD students

  Hamid Afshar
Lorena Parra   Mehmet Özkan
Marija Kovačević   Blaise Rollier
Thomas Zojer  

Former Visitors

Victor Penas    Luca Romano
      Ercan Kilicarslan
      Aditya Mehra
      Pulastya Parekh
      Shankhadeep Chakrabortty
      Tonnis ter Veldhuis

Our research interests focus on a deeper understanding of the gravitational force at very small distance scales (quantum gravity and the very Early Universe) and at cosmological distance scales (dark energy). Due to the expanding nature of our Universe, these problems are interrelated in an intriguing and challenging way. String Theory is by far the most promising candidate theory of quantum gravity (although other interesting approaches such as loop quantum gravity and causal dynamical triangulations are explored as well). On the other hand, modified gravity models such as Massive Gravity change the workings of gravity at large distance scales and are candidates to solve the dark energy mystery.

The focus point in my research is the study of a new class of extended objects in String Theory, called Exotic Branes. These new objects contain information about the geometry underlying String Theory, called String Geometry, which is an extension of the Riemannian geometry of General Relativity. String Geometry and Exotic Branes are relevant for the embedding of realistic inflationary scenarios into String Theory and for a deeper understanding of the Black Hole interior.

In my research on Modified Gravity one particular model under study is the three-dimensional New Massive Gravity model and its recent extension to Zwei Dreibein Gravity and Minimal Massive Gravity. These models give interesting insights into the validity and limitations of the AdS/CFT correspondence. Moreover, they have an interesting connection with condensed matter physics. The hope is that these three-dimensional models will also teach us something about the workings of gravity in four spacetime dimensions.

If you are interested to do a Bachelor or Master research project in our group (not necessarily on the research topics mentioned above), please feel free to pass by at my office for an informal conversation about the different options.

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