Faculty Type: 
Active Faculty

Varian Physics Bldg. Rm.380
382 Via Pueblo Mall
Stanford University
Stanford, California 94305-4060

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How can we use quantum field theory and string theory to understand key questions in high energy theory, cosmology, and condensed matter physics?  Do the hints of deep mathematical structures underlying string theory contain new lessons for fundamental physics?

Professor Kachru is widely interested in the foundational theoretical questions underlying cosmology, condensed matter theory, particle theory, and quantum gravity.  These include the nature of the initial cosmological singularity; the microscopic theory of inflation; field theory and string theory models of strongly correlated condensed matter systems; and possible solutions of the hierarchy problem (with implications for beyond-the-Standard-Model physics). He also has an abiding interest in the mathematical structure underlying string theory and string compactifications.

Current areas of focus:

  • Finding mathematically precise criteria for the emergence of weakly curved space-time geometry from dual quantum field theories (through constraints on observables like the elliptic genus)
  • Mysterious relations between modular forms, string compactifications, and sporadic simple groups (``Moonshine")
  • Application of techniques of modern quantum field theory to develop a controlled understanding of novel phases of condensed matter systems

More details about this research can be found by following the links to some reasonably recent (technical!) talks about these subjects.

Spacetime emergence --  

Moonshine --  

Quantum critical metals --

Career History

Honors and Awards

PRofessional service

  • Scientific Advisory Committee, Perimeter Institute, 2015-
  • Editorial Board, Research in Mathematical Sciences, 2015-
  • Advisory Board, KITP, 2014-
  • Member, Aspen Center for Physics, 2006-15
  • External organizer, ICTP spring school, 2007-10
  • Editor, JHEP, 2004-
  • External organizer, TASI, 1999, 2005, 2007

PhD students

  • Max Zimet (current student)
  • Nathan Benjamin (current student)
  • Natalie Paquette (current student)
  • Dan Whalen (on leave at Amsterdam)
  • Huajia Wang (to University of Illinois postdoc Fall 2015)
  • Sarah Harrison (to Harvard postdoc Fall 2014)
  • Dusan Simic (to KITP postdoc)
  • Mike Mulligan (to MIT postdoc, now at Stanford)
  • Wu-yen Chuang (to Rutgers postdoc, now Mathematics faculty at National Taiwan University)
  • Alexander Giryavets (now Vice-President at Morgan Stanley)
  • Xiao Liu (to Perimeter Institute postdoc, now faculty at UESTC)
  • Liam McAllister (to Princeton postdoc, now Cornell faculty)
  • John McGreevy (to Princeton postdoc, now UCSD faculty)
  • Michael Schulz (to Caltech postdoc, now Bryn Mawr faculty)


  • Preethi Pallegar (summer 2015)
  • Marc Robbins (summer 2015)
  • Zhiming Wang (summer 2015)
  • Temple He, 2009-10 (now in graduate school at Harvard)
  • Daniel Balick, 2005-06 (UCSB PhD in theoretical biology, now at Harvard)
  • Christopher Beem, 2005-06 (Berkeley PhD in string theory, now at IAS)
  • Dan Wohns, 2005-06 (Cornell PhD in string theory)