Personal Information

Monica Pate
Assistant Professor of Physics
Ph.D. Harvard University
M.A. Harvard University
B.S. Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Contact Information
Email:mp6443 AT
Pate seeks a fundamental description of our universe that successfully incorporates the quantum-mechanical nature of gravity. Specifically, she investigates the extent to which gravitational systems admit holographic descriptions. In such a description, the entire dynamics of a gravitational system is captured equivalently by an alternate non-gravitational system that exists in fewer dimensions. Pate currently focuses on extensions of the holographic paradigm beyond the well-studied context of negatively-curved spacetimes to asymptotically flat spacetimes, which are a formal representation of the isolated gravitational systems that appear in nature. To date, her work has uncovered an infinite number of new symmetries of gravity in the asymptotically flat context and additionally established the existence of analogues of these symmetries for any fundamental force. Beyond critically assessing the holographic paradigm, Pate will use her investigation of quantum gravity in asymptotically flat spacetimes to attack fundamental questions of physics, including "What do we predict to observe at a particle collider that probes quantum gravitational interactions?" and "Are strings, as opposed to particles, the fundamental building blocks of our universe?".