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Katrin Becker

Faculty: Professor


Our understanding of the fundamental laws of nature is based on principles which contradict each other. To describe gravitation and physics at large distances we use general relativity. This is a classical theory. The predictions of general relativity have been confirmed in all observations and experiments to date. General relativity has important astrophysical implications. However, classical physics predicts that matter is unstable. To describe subatomic particles and forces (electromagnetism, the weak and the strong forces) we use a different set of rules based on quantum field theory. In our quest for the fundamental laws of nature we are lead to wonder how to construct a theory of quantum gravity, a theory which reconciles gravity with quantum physics. Prof. K. Becker works on string theory. This is a quantum theory which predicts gravitation instead of contradicting it and it could be the unified theory of nature. It is a fascinating and unique framework. Some of the simplest string theories give rise to the known forces and patterns of elementary particles (chiral gauge couplings and a replication as families or generations). Prof. K. Becker has co-authored some widely cited papers on supersymmetric cylces and flux compactifications in string theory. Currently she works in perturbative string theory. She is a co-author (together with M. Becker and J. H. Schwarz) of a textbook on string theory published by Cambridge University Press.

Latest Publications

Katrin Becker, Melanie Becker, Daniel Butter, and William D. Linch. “N = 1 supercurrents of eleven-dimensional supergravity.” Journal of High Energy Physics, 2018(5), May 2018.

Katrin Becker, Melanie Becker, William D. Linch, Stephen Randall, and Daniel Robbins. “All Chern-Simons invariants of 4D, N = 1 gauged superform hierarchies.” Journal of High Energy Physics, 2017(4), Apr 2017.

Katrin Becker, Melanie Becker, Daniel Butter, Sunny Guha, William D. Linch, and Daniel Robbins. “Eleven-dimensional supergravity in 4D, N = 1 superspace.” Journal of High Energy Physics, 2017(11), Nov 2017.

Shana Hutchins. “Texas A+M String Sister Physicists Propose Kaluza-Klein Theory Without Truncation.” This is an article written by Shana Hutchins about the research done in our group.

Awards & Recognition

  • Bush Excellence Award for Faculty in International Research (2017)
  • Member of the Institute for Advanced Study (2011)
  • Radcliffe Fellowship (Harvard University, 2005)
  • Alfred Sloan Research Fellowship (2003)

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