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Prof Lionel Mason participates in $8m grant for international collaboration on celestial holography

6 November 2023

a starry night sky
Prof Lionel Mason

Professor Lionel Mason will participate in the Simons Foundation Collaboration on Celestial Holography that has been awarded a total of nearly 8 million dollars in research funding from the Simons Foundation. This grant will fuel an international collaboration with 12 principal investigators directed by Andy Strominger from Harvard University and taking in 4 institutions in Europe, 3 others in the USA and one in Canada. Prof Mason’s portion of the funding, valued at about $500k, will cover a research fellow and a research student together with visitors and meetings. 

Celestial holography is a programme that seeks to reformulate basic physics in terms of a theory on the boundary of a system, in much the same way that a hologram encodes a three-dimensional image on a two-dimensional photographic plate. It is celestial in the sense that this boundary is taken to be far away, on the celestial sphere at infinity. You can read more about the project in the Simons Foundation’s announcement of the collaboration.

Prof Mason is Fellow and Tutor in Mathematics at St Peter’s College and Professor of Mathematics at the Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford. He is an expert in mathematical physics whose research has focused on gravity and quantum field theory and programmes that aim to unite the two, such as twistor theory or string theory. You can learn more about Prof Mason here.

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