Daniel Thompson obtained his undergraduate degree in Mathematics and Mathematical Physics from Imperial College, University of London in 2002 followed by graduate studies at Cambridge University leading to a Part III Certificate of Advanced Studies in Mathematics (equivalent to master’s level) in 2003. After working in the City as a management and strategy consultant for two years, he returned to Imperial College where he was in 2006 awarded a master’s degree in Quantum Fields and Fundamental Physics. He obtained a PhD in Theoretical Physics from Queen Mary, University of London in 2010 before joining the Theoretical High Energy Physics Group of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel to perform postdoctoral research. In 2011 he was awarded an FWO postdoctoral fellowship (renewed in 2014) and in October 2014 he joined the faculty of Vrije Universiteit Brussel as a part-time research professor (docent). In January 2017, Daniel joined Swansea University where he holds a Royal Society University Research Fellowship and investigates dualities in String Theory.
Of the many insights from the String Theory approach to the quantum theory of gravity, the discovery of a rich network of ‘dualities’ — equivalences between seeming distinct physical systems — are the most astonishing. Thompson’s work address three major questions:
- What is the full scope of these dualities?
- How can they be exploited to address phenomena in physics?
- What is the correct mathematical language to describe them?
His work includes important contributions to: the Exceptional Field Theory approach to M-theory; the construction of novel examples string dualities and their holographic application to describe Quantum Field Theories; and to the rich interplay of integrable systems and string dualities.