# Adam T

- Research Program Mentor

## PhD candidate at Harvard University

Expertise

Theoretical Physics (String Theory, Relativity, Particle Physics)

### Bio

During high school, I became incredibly passionate about studying physics after an independent research project similar to those offered though Polygence. Since then, I have been pursuing that passion and am now primarily interested in studying the fundamental building blocks of nature from a theoretical perspective. I have conducted research projects exploring the nuances of how subatomic particles attain their masses (via the Higgs Mechanism) and how string theory can give predictions describing how our universe rapidly expanded moments after The Big Bang. I spent my undergraduate years at Brown University where I earned degrees in Theoretical Physics and Pure Mathematics; nowadays, I am a PhD student at Harvard studying string theory and quantum gravity more generally. Outside of physics, I love cooking and getting trying all the fantastic restaurants in Boston. I also spend a lot of time outdoors (running, hiking, biking, kayaking, etc) and really enjoy listening to all sorts of music.### Project ideas

#### Introduction to Elementary Particles

Elementary particles are subatomic particles which cannot be subdivided into smaller pieces. For example, electrons are elementary particles; however, protons are not (they are actually made from three even smaller particles)! Just like how the periodic table of elements describes how molecules are formed, there is a finite list of elementary particles which form all the matter in the universe. An interesting project would be to explore precisely what these elementary particles are, how they interact with one another, how they were discovered, and other related questions to deepen your understanding of the quantum world.

#### Knot Theory and Topology

Knot theory is a branch of mathematics that studies knots. Knots are pieces of string which can be wrapped into complicated shapes and whose ends are then fused together. There is a rich mathematical structure involving knots. It turns out that you cannot deform any particular knot into another knot (some knots are permanently tangled) - this is called a "topological obstruction." We would learn about topology in the context of knot theory and learn a lot about these very fundamental objects. No formal knowledge of math is required to study knot theory (not even algebra), but the subject is very rich and a good introduction to formal mathematics.