In physics, two major theories are used to describe the universe: the quantum field theory (QFT) and the theory of general relativity (GR). These two theories describe the universe at two different scales. The first describes the microscopic world of atoms and elementary particles, and the second describes the universe at large-scale level of planets, galaxies, and other celestial bodies. These two theories, however, are largely incompatible because QFT does not account for the effects of gravity, as outlined in GR, on quantum partciles. Physicists, like doctoral student Vasil Todorinov, seek to reconcile QFT and GR via the theory of Quantum Gravity.
Quantum Gravity (QG) seeks to describe the impact of gravitational effects on quantum systems. Vasil Todorinov's research focus is in the field of QG Pheonomenology. The goal of this field is to find observable evidence of gravity's effects on quantum particles through experimentation and testing predictions based on current models.Vasil explains that according to quantum gravity, spacetime is like a beach: it looks smooth from afar, but in reality it is made up of numerous tiny grains of sand (spacetime's minimum measurable length). However, problems arise when we try to apply this way of thinking to gravity. This is where Vasil’s research comes in.
One problem can be described as such: we live a four-dimensional world with three spatial dimensions (length, width, and height) and one time dimension (also known as spacetime); however, since the concept of length accounts for only one dimension, applying the concept of minimum length to four-dimensional gravity causes several problems in the theory. Under the supervision of Dr. Saurya Das, Vasil utilizes complex mathematics and computer simulations to successfully expand the concept of minimum length to the four-dimensional model of spacetime, without sacrificing the properties of spacetime and gravity.
Vasil, Dr. Das, and their collaborators now focus their efforts into finding measurable predictions and testing their theory in order to build a body of supporting evidence for QG. Fuelled by the desire to understand how the universe works, Vasil and his team are excited to see what mysteries their research will unravel.