# Rob Leigh

## Primary Research Area

- High Energy Physics

## Education

- Ph.D., Physics, University of Texas at Austin, 1991

## Biography

Professor Rob Leigh received his bachelor's degree in theoretical physics from the University of Guelph in 1986, and his PhD in theoretical particle physics, from the University of Texas at Austin in 1991. He held postdoctoral research appointments at the Institute for Particle Physics at the University of California, Santa Cruz and at Rutgers University. He joined the Department of Physics at Illinois in 1996. He has done outstanding work in string theory, supersymmetric field theory, and other topics in particle physics and early Universe cosmology. Professor Leigh's work lies at the heart of current efforts to build a fundamental theory of matter, including quantum gravity effects.

In his first papers, Professor Leigh discovered D-branes and orientifolds in string theory and the first example of superstring duality, and derived the Dirac-Born-Infeld action describing the dynamics of D-branes. D-branes correspond to non-perturbative states unique to string theory and are analogous to magnetic monopoles in field theory. The study of D-branes is fundamental to modern string theory and its applications to particle physics, mathematics and condensed matter physics.

Professor Leigh has also done seminal work on the existence of conformal field theories, and the use of intersecting branes and branes at singularities in particle physics model building. His current research interests include the application of holographic string theory methods to study particle physics, gravity and condensed matter physics.

## Research Statement

Primarily, we use gauge/gravity dualities (or holography) to study the physics of strongly coupled gauge theories and, increasingly, the strong coupling dynamics in condensed matter systems.

## Selected Articles in Journals

- V. Balasubramanian, M. DeCross, J. Fliss, A. Kar, R.G. Leigh and O. Parrikar,
*Entanglement Entropy and the Colored Jones Polynomial*, JHEP 38 (2018). - L. Freidel, R.G. Leigh and D. Minic.
*Intrinsic non-commutativity of closed string theory*Â , arXiv:1706.03305 [hep-th], JHEP 1709 (2017) 060 . - J.R. Fliss, X. Wen, O. Parrikar, C.-T. Hsieh, B. Han, T. L. Hughes, R. G. Leigh,
*Interface Contributions to Topological Entanglement in Abelian Chern-Simons Theory*, arXiv:1705.09611, JHEP 1709 (2017) 056 . - V. Balasubramanian, J.R. Fliss, R.G. Leigh and O. Parrikar.
*Multi-Boundary Entanglement in Chern-Simons Theory and Link Invariants*, arXiv:1611.05460, JHEP 1704 (2017) 061. - J.R. Fliss, R.G. Leigh and O. Parrikar,
*Unitary Networks from the Exact Renormalization of Wave Functionals*, Phys.Rev. D95 (2017) no.12, 126001. - L. Freidel, R.G. Leigh and D. Minic,
*Quantum Spaces are Modular*, arXiv:1606.01829, Phys.Rev. D94 (2016) no.10, 104052. - T. Faulkner, R.G. Leigh, O. Parrikar, H. Wang,
*Modular Hamiltonians for Deformed Half-Spaces and the Averaged Null Energy Condition*, arXiv:1605.08072[hep-th], JHEP 1609 (2016) 038. - T. Faulkner, R.G. Leigh, O. Parrikar,
*Shape Dependence of Entanglement Entropy in Conformal Field Theories*, arXiv:1511.05179[hep-th], JHEP**1604**(2016) 088. - T.L. Hughes, R.G. Leigh, O. Parrikar and S.T. Ramamurthy,
*Entanglement Entropy and Anomaly Inflow*, arXiv:1509.04969[hep-th], Phys. Rev.**D93**(2016) 065059. - L. Freidel, R.G. Leigh and D. Minic,
*Metastring Theory and Modular Space-time*, arXiv:1502.08005, JHEP**1506**(2014) 006. - K. Jin, R.G. Leigh and O. Parrikar,
*Higher Spin Fronsdal Equations from the Exact Renormalization Group*, arXiv:1503.06864, JHEP**1506**(2015) 050. - O. Parrikar, T.L. Hughes and R.G. Leigh,
*Torsion, Parity-odd Response and Anomalies in Topological States*, arXiv:1407.7043 [cond-mat.mes-hall], Phys.Rev.**D90**(2014) 10, 105004. - R.G. Leigh, O.Parrikar and A.B. Weiss,
*Exact renormalization group and higher-spin holography*, arXiv:1407.4574 [hep-th], Phys.Rev.**D91**(2015) 2, 026002. - R.G. Leigh, O. Parrikar and A.B. Weiss, The Holographic Geometry of the Renormalization Group and Higher Spin Symmetries, Phys. Rev. D89 (2014) 106012, arXiv:1402.1430.
- M. Edalati, J.I. Jottar and R.G. Leigh, Holography and the sound of criticality, arXiv:1005.4075, JHEP 1010:058, 2010.
- J.I. Jottar, R.G. Leigh, D. Minic and L.A. Pando Zayas, Aging and Holography, arXiv:1004.3752, JHEP 1011:034, 2010.
- S. Dong, E. Fradkin, R.G. Leigh, S. Nowling. Topological Entanglement Entropy in Chern-Simons Theories and Quantum Hall Fluids. JHEP
**0805**, 016 (2008). - R.G. Leigh, and A.C. Petkou. Gravitational duality transformations on (A)dS
_{4}. JHEP**0711**, 79 (2007). - D. Berenstein, V. Jejjala, and R.G. Leigh. Standard model on a D-brane. Phys. Rev. Lett.
**88**, 071602 (2002). - D. Berenstein and R.G. Leigh. Resolution of stringy singularities by non-commutative algebras. JHEP-Journal of High Energy Phys.
**0106**, 030 (2001). - D. Berenstein, V. Jejjala, and R.G. Leigh. Marginal and relevant deformations of N = 4 field theories and non-commutative moduli spaces of vacua. Nucl. Phys. B
**589**, 196-248 (2000). - M. Berkooz, M.R. Douglas, and R.G. Leigh. Branes intersecting at angles. Nucl. Phys. B
**480**, 265 (1996). - R. G. Leigh and M. Strassler. Exactly marginal operators and duality in four dimensional N=1 supersymmetric gauge theory. Nucl. Phys. B
**447**, 95 (1995). - K. Intriligator, R.G. Leigh, and N. Seiberg. Exact superpotentials in four dimensions. Phys. Rev. D
**50**, 1092 (1994). - M. Dine, P. Huet, R.G. Leigh, A. Linde, and D. Linde. Towards the theory of the electroweak phase transition. Phys. Rev. D
**46**, 550 (1992). - R.G. Leigh. Dirac-Born-Infeld action from Dirichlet σ-model. Mod. Phys. Lett. A
**4**, 2767 (1989). - J. Dai, R.G. Leigh, and J.G. Polchinski. New relations between string theories. Mod. Phys. Lett. A
**4**, 2073 (1989).

## Research Honors

- Fellow, American Physical Society, 2007
- Arnold O. Beckman Award, UIUC, December 2004
- Outstanding Junior Investigator, DOE, 1997-2000

## Recent Courses Taught

- PHYS 580 - Quantum Mechanics I
- PHYS 581 - Quantum Mechanics II
- PHYS 582 - General Field Theory
- PHYS 583 - Advanced Field Theory
- PHYS 598 ADS (PHYS 598 QFT) - Special Topics in Physics

## Semesters Ranked Excellent Teacher by Students

Semester | Course | Outstanding |
---|---|---|

Spring 2018 | PHYS 583 | |

Fall 2016 | PHYS 598 | |

Spring 2016 | PHYS 583 | |

Spring 2014 | PHYS 598 | |

Fall 2013 | PHYS 598 | |

Spring 2006 | PHYS 487 | |

Spring 2005 | PHYS 487 | |

Fall 2003 | PHYS 498 |