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Prestigious Stephen Hawking Fellowship for particle physics researcher

Published: 29 March 2020
Ömer Gürdoğan
Ömer Gürdoğan will investigate questions about how nature works at microscopic scales.

A former Southampton researcher will return to the University as one of the first winners of a prestigious Stephen Hawking Fellowship for his exciting theoretical particle physics work.

Ömer Gürdoğan will spend the next four years investigating questions about how nature works at microscopic scales.

His area of focus will be ‘scattering amplitudes’ in Quantum Field Theory. These are the quantities that predict the probabilities of the interactions of elementary particles in nature. Research in scattering amplitudes is a very active area, with a potential to revolutionise the way we formulate particle physics.

Dr Gürdoğan is one of the first nine Stephen Hawking Fellows, selected by UK Research and Innovation to continue Professor Hawking’s legacy through furthering our understanding of the universe and communicating the wonders of science to the public.

His research is at the boundary between physics and maths. He will be using new ideas in maths to help develop a better description of scattering amplitudes and Quantum Field Theory.

Also through the £511,508 fellowship, Dr Gürdoğan will conduct outreach activities including art exhibitions inspired by the geometric nature of his research, and interactive demonstrations using virtual reality.

He said: “I am extremely pleased that the importance of my ambitions for understanding the universe, and the level of my research to date, have been verified by such a prestigious fellowship. I am very excited for the opportunity to work on this subject and continue to be fascinated by it for a further four years.

“This special fellowship scheme also gives me the chance to share my enthusiasm with non-physicists. I am planning to hold exhibitions showcasing the geometries that describe the workings of nature and I am confident that everyone will be able to appreciate their beauty as much as I do.”

Dr Gürdoğan, who left Southampton last year to work as a post-doctoral researcher at the Mathematical Institute at the University of Oxford, will return to Southampton in October to embark on his fellowship within the School of Physics and Astronomy.



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