Athanasios (Thanasis) Chatzistavrakidis Research Associate Division of Theoretical Physics, 

Research Interests My research interests concentrate at the interface of theoretical and mathematical physics. Here you can find a gentle exposition of my motivations and current research topics.
The main motivation stems from the efforts to understand how gravity and quantum mechanics befriend each other. Gravity is accurately described by Einstein's General Theory of Relativity, which has been tested with stellar success in a plethora of physical settings. On the other hand, quantum field theory and its prodigious Standard Model of Particle Physics have impressively shaped our understanding of the microcosmos of elementary particles, light and matter. However, a complete physical theory which accounts for gravity and quantum mechanics simultaneously is still lacking. The search for such a theory of Quantum Gravity is arguably one of the greatest intellectual challenges for mankind in the 21st century Regardless of the big mystery of Quantum Gravity, the amazing progress inherited by us from 20th century physics generates motivation to further explore already established and tested theories and frameworks, especially if one agrees that our goal as scientists is not just "some collection of answers" (to borrow a phrase of Thurston in the context of mathematics), but rather a profound understanding of Nature. Specifically, the almost miraculous success of Quantum Field Theory and Gauge Theories suggests that we should explore them further and understand them better, both in the direction of their general mathematical structure and in the direction of coming up with new classes of such theories that can have physical consequences. In more technical terms, here is a nonexhaustive list of topics that have kept me busy in the last few years:
In earlier years, I also worked on string compactifications in the Gstructure formalism, gauge theories with fuzzy extra dimensions, matrix models and their applications in particle physics model building, cosmological applications of axions, &c. General InterestsI am interested in creative writing, especially short stories, occasionally with a touch of physics and mathematics in them. 