Ilarion Melnikov's Homepage

This website and Ilarion have moved to Texas!   You can find us here


A brief little bit about me
I am a mathematical physicist, and my main interests are in quantum field theory and string theory.  My recent work has focused on two-dimensional conformal field theory in its relation to geometry and the landscape of heterotic string vacua.  I studied at Cornell and at Duke and have been a postodoc at the Enrico Fermi Institute at the University of Chicago.  Since 2008 I have been a postdoc at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (the Albert Einstein Institute) located not quite in Berlin, and not quite in Potsdam, but in the little village of Golm.  Please take a look at my CV for more information.

A brief little bit about strings
String theory is a branch of modern theoretical physics with the broad and ambitious aim of reconciling two indubitable experimental facts:  the remarkable success of general relativity to describe large scale phenomena such as planets, stars, and galaxies, and the success of quantum mechanics, embodied by local quantum field theory, to describe the microscopic dynamics of (seemingly) fundamental particles such as quarks, electrons, and photons.  There are, by now, many sources where one might learn more about string theory; one of my favorite places is the incredibly beautiful introductory chapter of the classic GSW text.  An introduction to some central features of my work may be found here.