About

Who are you?

I’m Edward, a theoretical physics PhD student at Queen Mary University of London. My Erdős number is 5, and my h-index is 2.

What is it you do exactly?

I’m basically in training to become a researcher. On a typical day I read some papers, go to a seminar, chat to colleagues and think about interesting questions.

Who is this blog for?

Everyone! I try to write a range of articles aimed at different audiences. Most of the time I keep the flavour quite general, so that the layman can at least get a feel for what’s going on. But I don’t always shy away from the detail, so hopefully there’s something thought-provoking for specialists too.

So what do you write about?

Lots of things. The main focus is my research – I post curious tidbits from papers I’ve read or conversations I’ve had. I like to keep my eye on other areas too, especially string theory, geometry and topology so I sometimes write about these. Sometimes I write more general articles on fundamental principles, or go over calculations that confounded me as an undergrad.

What kind of research is it?

Theoretical physics is a big area, encompassing all sorts of different theories than underpin our understanding of the universe. I work on new ways to compute scattering processes, a bit like experimentalists see in particle colliders. The theories I work on are just toy models of reality, helping to elucidate some aspect of the real world.

On a more technical level I’ve recently computed some one-loop corrections to subleading soft theorems in \mathcal{N}=4 super-Yang-Mills. I’ve also applied the scattering equations to form factors.

Why are you doing it?

First and foremost because I love it. It’s a privilege to be able to imaginatively explore the frontiers of our knowledge. Secondly it’s because I strongly believe in the importance of fundamental research. The past 100 years have given us computers, medicines, transport, communications beyond the wildest dreams of our ancestors. None of this would have been possible without blue sky thinking about fundamental physics. Improving our theories of the universe will allow us to develop our technology still further, and will surely have many unforeseen benefits!

Enough of the physics. What else do you do?

In my spare time I’m a semi-professional singer and conductor. Occasionally I also play oboe and piano. Sports-wise I’m competent around a snooker table, less competent on a tennis court and an avid Arsenal fan. If I find myself away from the big city there’s nothing I like more than a nice country walk.

Can I ask you a question?

Sure! Just drop me an email at e.f.hughes@qmul.ac.uk.

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3 thoughts on “About”

  1. Hey, I am a physics undergrad interested in string theory, and I realy really liked your blog. I have a question for you. How do you manage time so effectively? I see you do a lot of stuff, and in addition to write this blog. I have been thinking of writing a blog since many months, but I never really get the time. Any advice?

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