Email: roberts@ias.edu
Twitter: @danintheory
Website: www.danintheory.com
(just redirects back here)
Email: roberts@ias.edu
Twitter: @danintheory
Website: www.danintheory.com
(just redirects back here)
I am a theoretical physics postdoc in the School of Natural Sciences at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ.
Previously, I completed my Ph.D. at the Center for Theoretical Physics at MIT, funded by a Hertz Foundation Fellowship and the NDSEG. Prior to that, I was a Marshall Scholar in the UK. While there, I read for Part III of the Mathematical Tripos at Cambridge and then studied quantum information at Oxford. In a previous life (undergrad), I worked on invisibility cloaks (metamaterials and transformation optics) with David R. Smith.
My name is very common, so I try my best to publish under more parts of my full name Daniel Adam Roberts—which I never go by and which (unfortunately) also happens to be very common.
I’m interested in black holes. I’m also interested in quantum information theory. Luckily, via the gauge/gravity duality or holography, these two subjects are intricately tied together.
Some of my work focuses on what happens when something falls into a black hole (in anti-de Sitter space). The black hole will very quickly scramble (but not destroy) the information. Black holes are thermal systems, and this is actually a manifestation of the well-known butterfly effect. We can try to think about this process in terms of its computational complexity, or we can study it as a distinguishing feature of quantum chaos.
Semi-orthogonally, I’m interested in applying supersymmetry (SUSY) to early universe cosmology; in other words, studying how inflation is embedded in supergravity (SUGRA). The first step is to understand the minimal low-energy degrees of freedom, the goldstone and goldstino, using the effective field theory of inflation.
Fully-orthogonally, I’m also interested in machine learning and AI: my team Pokermon entered and won the 2015 and 2016 MIT Pokerbots tournament. We used a variant of Counterfactual Regret Minimization (CFR) to train our agent to play two- and three-player pot-limited poker. Unrelatedly, they even gave me a patent!
Black Holes Produce Complexity Fastest – Viewpoint in the APS journal Physics (which is very nicely written) on Complexity Equals Action.
Complexity growth – research highlight in Nature Physics (which is two paragraphs—one and a half of which are behind a paywall—and is unfortunately incomprehensible) on the same work.