Bianca Dittrich to Join Perimeter Faculty

Perimeter Institute's growing research faculty will welcome another member, Bianca Dittrich, in 2012.

Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics (PI) is pleased to announce the appointment of Bianca Dittrich to its research faculty. Dr. Dittrich currently leads the Max Planck Research Group "Canonical and Covariant Dynamics of Quantum Gravity" at the Albert Einstein Institute in Potsdam, Germany.

In making the announcement, PI's Director Neil Turok said, "Dr. Dittrich is a gifted and powerful thinker with enormous potential. She has already made major contributions across the spectrum of models for quantum gravity. She will strengthen our efforts across a number of research areas including quantum gravity, cosmology and black holes. We look forward to Bianca's arrival with great anticipation."

Dr. Dittrich's research focuses on the construction and examination of quantum gravity models. Among other important findings, she has provided a computational framework for gauge invariant observables in (canonical) general relativity that are independent from any choice of coordinatization, and found that the different spaces of potential configurations describing discrete geometries are very different — even in size — in the various quantum gravity models.

Dr. Dittrich's present work seeks to understand how one could construct a new class of lattice models which are independent of one's choice of discretization, which should then display a discrete notion of diffeomorphism symmetry, beginning with the models we know so far. This work has many potential links to other fields of study at PI, such as condensed matter, quantum computing, and numerical relativity. Indeed, PI's interdisciplinary approach was a major factor in Dr. Dittrich's decision to join PI's faculty.

"PI's breadth of research topics and the possibilities and freedom it offers to do research are rather exceptional," Dr. Dittrich explained. "I am very happy to have been given this opportunity to again enjoy Perimeter's unique atmosphere and energetic scientific life."

Dr. Dittrich grew up in Berlin and completed her undergraduate degree at the nearby University of Potsdam. She did her diploma thesis with Renate Loll, who is now a PI Distinguished Research Chair and a member of the Institute's Scientific Advisory Committee. Dr. Dittrich received her PhD from the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics in 2005, under the supervision of Thomas Thiemann, one of Perimeter's Associate Faculty members.

Among her many accomplishments, Dr. Dittrich is a recipient of the Otto Hahn Medal of the Max Planck Society (2007), which recognizes outstanding young scientists, and a Marie Curie Fellowship (2008). 

Further Exploration

  • B. Dittrich. "Partial and Complete Observables for Canonical General Relativity." Class. Quant. Grav. 23, 6155 (2006).
  • B. Dittrich and J. Tambornino. "Gauge invariant perturbations around symmetry reduced sectors of general relativity: applications to cosmology." Class. Quant. Grav. 24, 4543 (2007).
  • B. Dittrich and S. Speziale. "Area-angle variables for general relativity." New J. Phys. 10, 083006 (2008).
  • B. Dittrich. "Diffeomorphism symmetry in quantum gravity models." Adv. Sci. Lett. 2, 151 (2009).
  • B. Bahr and B. Dittrich. "(Broken) Gauge Symmetries and Constraints in Regge Calculus." Class. Quant. Grav. 26 225011 (2009).
  • B. Dittrich and J.P. Ryan. "Phase space descriptions for simplicial 4d geometries." Class. Quant. Grav. 28, 065006 (2011).

About Perimeter Institute

Perimeter Institute is the world’s largest research hub devoted to theoretical physics. The independent Institute was founded in 1999 to foster breakthroughs in the fundamental understanding of our universe, from the smallest particles to the entire cosmos. Research at Perimeter is motivated by the understanding that fundamental science advances human knowledge and catalyzes innovation, and that today’s theoretical physics is tomorrow’s technology. Located in the Region of Waterloo, the not-for-profit Institute is a unique public-private endeavour, including the Governments of Ontario and Canada, that enables cutting-edge research, trains the next generation of scientific pioneers, and shares the power of physics through award-winning educational outreach and public engagement.

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