B.A. Tel Aviv University

Ph.D. Harvard University

Assistant Professor

Areas of Expertise: String theory, particle theory and mathematical physics.

Research Summary

Generally, Plesser's past research has centered upon the study of special classes of models, distinguished by the ability to perform exact computations of some of their physical properties. From these simple examples one then attempts to abstract general properties of a larger class, and ultimately a better understanding of the theory itself. The calculations in question are often related to interesting mathematical properties of the geometrical objects involved; progress in physics and in mathematics has, in this context, often been linked. A specific example of this is the phenomenon of mirror symmetry which relates pairs of topologically distinct complex Kähler manifolds in a particular class (Calabi--Yau manifolds). Propagation of strings on these spaces is described by a physical structure called a conformal field theory. In simple cases the field theory is exactly solvable, and close study of these solved models lead to the discovery of pairs of distinct manifolds which lead to isomorphic conformal field theories. The isomorphism is an example of a duality symmetry, relating simple and well-understood physical properties of one model to more subtle and elusive properties of the other. In mathematical terms the simple properties take the form of solutions to a set of differential equations, and mirror symmetry relates these to a generating function for infinite sets of less-than-obvious invariants of the mirror manifold. In the past two years many new duality properties of field theory and of string theory have been proposed, and shown to satisfy an intricate set of mutual consistency checks. These are now yielding a wealth of new information on this intriguing and difficult theory.

Recent Publications:

  1. Towards Mirror Symmetry as Duality for Two-Dimensional Abelian Gauge Theories, (with D.R. Morrison), IASSNS-HEP-95/64, hep-th/9508107, to appear in Proceedings of Strings '95, USC.
  2. New N=2 Superconformal Field Theories in Four Dimensions, (with P.C. Argyres, N. Seiberg, and E. Witten), Nucl. Phys. B461 (1996) 71, hep-th/9511154.
  3. Enhanced Gauge Symmetry in Type II String Theory, (with S. Katz and D.R. Morrison), WIS-95-62-PH, hep-th/9601108, Nucl. Phys. B, to appear.
  4. The Moduli Space of Vacua of N=2 SUSY QCD and Duality in N=1 SUSY QCD, (with P.C. Argyres and N. Seiberg), Nucl. Phys. B471 (1996) 159, hep-th/9603042.
  5. N=2 Moduli Spaces and N=1 Dualities for SO(Nc) and USp(Nc) Super QCD, (with P.C. Argyres and A.D. Shapere), hep-th/9608129.

Last modified, Sepember, 1996