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 is scheduled to start in October 2019. The deadline for applications has passed.


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

PhD Students

Georgios Karagiannis

RBI, Croatia

Grgur Šimunić

RBI, Croatia

List of publications

The Algebroid Structure of Double Field Theory

Athanasios Chatzistavrakidis, Larisa Jonke, Fech Scen Khoo, Richard J. Szabo

Fluxes in Exceptional Field Theory and Threebrane Sigma-Models

Athanasios Chatzistavrakidis, Larisa Jonke, Dieter Lüst, Richard J. Szabo

Talks and Seminars

7 Nov 2018: RTG Colloquium: Models of Gravity at Jacobs University Bremen, Germany (A. Chatzistavrakidis).

7-11 Jan 2019: Two talks at the 8th Bangkok Workshop on High-Energy Theory, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand (A. Chatzistavrakidis and L. Jonke).

11-15 Feb 2019: Talk at the Quantum Spacetime '19 workshop, Bratislava, Slovakia (A. Chatzistavrakidis).

13 Apr 2019: Invited talk at Bayrischzell Workshop 2019 Quantum structure of space-time: Generalized geometry and symmetries, Bayrischzell, Germany (A. Chatzistavrakidis).


Research Visits

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

4-8 Feb 2019: CERN Winter School on Supergravity, Strings and Gauge Theory (G. Karagiannis).


Athanasios Chatzistavrakidis

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