Paul Stephen Aspinwall

Paul Stephen Aspinwall

Professor of Mathematics

Office Location: 
244 Physics Bldg, Durham, NC 27708
Front Office Address: 
Box 90320, Durham, NC 27708-0320
(919) 660-2874
Office Hours: 
1:00 to 2:00pm each Tuesday10:30am to 11:30am each Thursday


String theory is hoped to provide a theory of all fundamental physics encompassing both

quantum mechanics and general relativity. String theories naturally live in a large number of

dimensions and so to make contact with the real world it is necessary to ``compactify'' the

extra dimensions on some small compact space. Understanding the physics of the real

world then becomes a problem very closely tied to understanding the geometry of the space

on which one has compactified. In particular, when one restricts one's attention to

``supersymmetric'' physics the subject of algebraic geometry becomes particularly important.

Of current interest is the notion of ``duality''. Here one obtains the same physics by

compactifying two different string theories in two different ways. Now one may use our limited understanding of one

picture to fill in the gaps in our limited knowledge of the second picture. This appears to be an extremely powerful

method of understanding a great deal of string theory.

Both mathematics and physics appear to benefit greatly from duality. In mathematics one finds hitherto unexpected

connections between the geometry of different spaces. ``Mirror symmetry'' was an example of this but many more

remain to be explored. On the physics side one hopes to obtain a better understanding of nonperturbative aspects

of the way string theory describes the real world.

Education & Training

  • D.Phil., University of Oxford (UK) 1988

  • B.A., University of Oxford (UK) 1985

Aspinwall, PS. "Minimum distances in non-trivial string target spaces." Nuclear Physics B 431.1-2 (1994): 78-96.

Aspinwall, PS, and Morrison, DR. "Chiral rings do not suffice: N=(2,2) theories with nonzero fundamental group." Physics Letters B 334.1-2 (1994): 79-86. Full Text

Aspinwall, PS, Greene, BR, and Morrison, DR. "Measuring small distances in N = 2 sigma models." Nuclear Physics, Section B 420.1-2 (1994): 184-242. Full Text

Aspinwall, PS, Greene, BR, and Morrison, DR. "Calabi-Yau moduli space, mirror manifolds and spacetime topology change in string theory." Nuclear Physics B 416.2 (1994): 414-480.

Aspinwall, PS, Greene, BR, and Morrison, DR. "Space-time topology change and stringy geometry a." Journal of Mathematical Physics 35.10 (1994): 5321-5337.

Aspinwall, PS, Morrison, DR, and Greene, BR. "The monomial-divisor mirror map." International Mathematics Research Notices 1993.12 (January 1, 1993): 319-337. Full Text

Aspinwall, PS, Greene, BR, and Morrison, DR. "Multiple mirror manifolds and topology change in string theory." Physics Letters B 303.3-4 (1993): 249-259. Full Text

Aspinwall, PS, and Morrison, DR. "Topological field theory and rational curves." Communications in Mathematical Physics 151.2 (1993): 245-262. Full Text

Aspinwall, PS, and Lütken, CA. "Quantum algebraic geometry of superstring compactifications." Nuclear Physics, Section B 355.2 (1991): 482-510. Full Text

Aspinwall, PS, and Lütken, CA. "Geometry of mirror manifolds." Nuclear Physics B 353.2 (1991): 427-461.