I have heard it stated by renowned scientists, for example Stephen Hawking, that the macroscopic world is completely deterministic from a theoretical if not practical perspective, while the quantum realm is probabilistic. My question concerns the interaction of atomic radiation with the macroscopic world. The emission of a particle from a particular nucleus at a particular time is, as I understand it, purely probabilistic. If that particle hits a DNA molecule and causes a mutation resulting in cancer how can that cancer be said to be theoretically deterministic?

Thomas Faulkner received his bachelors degree in Physics from the University of Melbourne in 2003. He went on to obtain his Ph.D. from
MIT in 2009 working under the guidance of Hong Liu and Krishna Rajagopal. His thesis involved using string theory techniques to study QCD under extreme conditions. From 2009-2012 Thomas held a postdoctoral position at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics in UCSB where he continued to make interesting connections between problems in strongly correlated many body physics and string theory. Thomas also held a postdoctoral position at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Princeton from 2012-2013 where he became interested in Entanglement Entropy and the role it plays in fundamental aspects of quantum gravity. Thomas joined the department in 2014.

Broadly speaking my research interests lie at the intersection of exotic phases of quantum matter and string theory. These two subjects are connected via the celebrated holographic duality or AdS/CFT, which asserts that certain string theories are dual to quantum phases of matter. That is there can be two different ways of looking at the same system. By using tools developed in both the condensed matter and string communities I hope to gain insight into fundamental questions on both sides of the duality.

More specifically I am interested in:

1. Entanglement Entropy in quantum many body systems. As a tool to study quantum phases of matter, quantum gravity and black holes.

2. String inspired models of strongly correlated phenomena. Ranging from Non-Fermi Liquids and Quantum Criticality to transport and disorder.

3. Holographic models of QCD under extreme conditions. Signatures of strongly coupled physics in the quark-gluon plasma produced at heavy ion colliders.

- Thomas Faulkner, Monica Guica, Thomas Hartman, Robert C. Myers, Mark Van Raamsdonk, Gravitation from Entanglement in Holographic CFTs, JHEP 1403 (2014) 051
- T. Faulkner, A. Lewkowycz and J. Maldacena, Quantum corrections to holographic entanglement entropy, JHEP 1311 (2013) 074
- T. Faulkner and N. Iqbal, Friedel oscillations and horizon charge in 1D holographic liquids, JHEP 1307, 060 (2013)
- T. Faulkner, N. Iqbal, H. Liu, J. McGreevy, D. Vegh, Strange Metal Transport Realized by Gauge/Gravity Duality, Science 329 (2010) 1043.
- T. Faulkner, H. Liu, J. McGreevy, D. Vegh, Emergent quantum criticality, Fermi surfaces, and AdS(2), Phys. Rev. D 83, 125002 (2011)

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