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About Us

Arcade on the Quad

The Stanford Institute for Theoretical Physics (SITP) is a research institute comprising 20 faculty in Physics and related fields, and approximately 100 graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, and visitors.

Research within SITP includes a strong focus on fundamental questions about the new physics underlying the Standard Models of particle physics, gravity, cosmology and the early universe, and on the nature and applications of our basic frameworks (quantum field theory and string theory) for attacking these questions.  The research also includes a major emphasis on the novel phenomena in condensed matter physics that emerge in systems with many degrees of freedom.

Central areas of research

  • What governs particle theory beyond the scale of electroweak symmetry breaking?
  • How do string theory and holography resolve the basic puzzles of general relativity, including the deep issues arising in black hole physics and the study of cosmological horizons?
  • Which class of models of inflationary cosmology captures the physics of the early universe, and what preceded inflation?
  • Can physicists develop new techniques in quantum field theory and string theory to shed light on mysterious phases arising in many contexts in condensed matter physics (notably, in the high temperature superconductors)?