Principal investigator: Athanasios Chatzistavrakidis
PI's Host institution: Ruđer Bošković Institute
Project duration: 01.10.2018 to 30.09.2022

Project Summary

Reconciling general relativity and quantum mechanics and understanding the quantum structure of spacetime is one of the major challenges for present day theoretical physics. Two prominent frameworks addressing this conundrum are string theory and noncommutative geometry. Recent advances provide evidence that the generic spacetime geometries experienced by closed strings are noncommutative and even nonassociative.

Within this project we aim at a deeper understanding of the geometry and the gravitational sector of string theory. In particular, we are going to study strings propagating in backgrounds with non-geometric fluxes, using mathematical tools such as noncommutative and nonassociative differential geometry, Courant algebroids, generalized and higher geometry. Our main goal is to provide a solid geometric basis for T- and U-duality-invariant theories, such as double field theory and exceptional field theories, elucidate the structure of string and membrane sigma models, construct models of gravity in the presence of general fluxes and brane sources and study their physical implications. A second goal is to investigate the geometric structure of non-relativistic gravity theories, which attract a lot of interest in recent years due to applications in diverse physical settings, ranging from holography and condensed matter physics to string theory.

We expect that the results of this project will have an impact in our understanding of the gravitational interaction, and will contribute to the long-term goal of elucidating the origin and the structure of the universe.


Postdoc position
A 2+1-year postdoc position starting in October 2019 is open for applications.


Eric A. Bergshoeff

University of Groningen, Netherlands

Larisa Jonke

RBI, Croatia

Richard J. Szabo

Heriot-Watt University, United Kingdom

Zoran Škoda

University of Zadar, Croatia


Thomas Strobl

Institute Camille Jordan, Lyon, France

Junior Members

Georgios Karagiannis

RBI, Croatia

List of publications

To appear

Talks and Seminars

7 Nov 2018: Colloquium at Jacobs University Bremen (A. Chatzistavrakidis).


Research Visits

21 Oct - 15 Dec 2018: Visit at LMU Munich (A. Chatzistavrakidis and L. Jonke).


Athanasios Chatzistavrakidis

Phone: +385 1 456 1121
Ruđer Bošković Institute
Bijenička cesta 54
10000 Zagreb, Croatia