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Cynthia Keeler began her physics career as a graduate student at University of California-Berkeley, where she received an National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship in 2005. After receiving her doctorate in physics in 2008, she held postdoctoral appointments at Harvard University's Center for the Fundamental Laws of Nature, the University of Michigan, and finally at the Niels Bohr Institute at Copenhagen University. She was a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow from 2015 to 2017, before joining the Arizona State University faculty in 2017.
Keeler's research investigates the deeper structure of holographic gauge-gravity dualities which map strongly-coupled theories to weakly-coupled ones, providing a novel means for studying the former. Holographic techniques arising from these dualities are among the most widely used tools in theoretical physics today, and are applied far beyond their original high energy theoretical physics regime, to areas ranging from superconductors to heavy-ion collisions.
Dr. Keeler's research investigates the deeper structure of holographic gauge-gravity dualities. These dualities are of great theoretical interest, not least because they can map strongly-coupled theories to weakly-coupled ones. The most well-known example of a holographic duality, the AdS-CFT (Anti de Sitter/Conformal Field Theory) duality, is a strong-weak duality. This mapping provides a novel means for studying strongly-coupled theories. Consequently, so-called holographic techniques arising from gauge-gravity dualities are among the most widely used tools in theoretical physics today, and are applied far beyond their original high energy theoretical physics regime, to areas ranging from superconductors to heavy-ion collisions.
Dr. Keeler has studied several aspects of holographic dualities. With collaborators at Harvard, she developed a cutoff-surface version of fluid-gravity duality, which is a mapping between the fundamental equations of fluid mechanics, and those of Einstein's general relativity around a black hole. At Michigan and NBI, she studied aspects of spacetimes with embedded black holes which are dual to non-relativistic theories, as well as a new method of calculating quantum corrections to the entropy of black holes.
Dr. Keeler's current work focuses on improving the understanding of holographic dualities from three different directions. First she studies altered dualities, such as those with non-relativistic symmetries like Lifshitz and Schrodinger. Second, she studies already existing spacetime reconstruction methods, including both entanglement entropy and coset constructions. Last, she is exploring the quasinormal mode method for calculating partition functions on curved spacetimes, including how the mode sum reproduces the curvature constants of the spacetime.
In the Spring semester 2018, Dr. Keeler will teach PHY201 (Mathematical Methods). She is looking forward to sharing the joy of understanding new physics with her students, and is excited about the challenge of showing students how to explore ideas themselves.