Purdue University has announced a team of its researchers has been awarded a $1 million W.M. Keck Foundation grant to test an early prediction derived from string theory. Chen-Lung Hung, an assistant professor of physics and astronomy at Purdue, will lead the research team.
“Testing this idea of an emergent space-time and gravity demands a highly accessible, strongly coupled quantum material that provides complete spatiotemporal control of relevant system parameters to induce and detect collective dynamics with high precision,” said Hung in a news release, “Ultracold atoms trapped in an optical lattice formed by intersecting laser beams are the most promising candidates, because that allows us to control almost all parameters, including atomic interaction, mobility, chemical potential and temperature to carry out the test.”
Hung will work with Purdue physics and astronomy professors Sergei Khlebnikov, Luis Martin Kruczenski and Qi Zhou. Ultimately, the researchers hope to find out whether "collective dynamics in a strongly coupled quantum material can be described by a theory of gravity."