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William Donnelly

Portrait de William Donnelly
Phd: University of Maryland, College Park 2012

Area of Research:

Research Interests

I am a theoretical physicist working at the interface of quantum information theory and quantum gravity. I am interested in the question of what quantum phenomena such as entanglement tell us about the structure of spacetime and its dynamics; and conversely what gravity can teach us about entanglement.

Currently I am interested in:
* Entanglement entropy in field theory, quantum gravity and string theory.
* Soft modes in gauge theory and gravity.
* Gravity and gauge theory in lower dimensions and topological quantum field theory.

Positions Held

  • 2014-2017 Department of Physics, University of California Santa Barbara Postdoctoral research associate
  • 2012-2014 Department of Applied Mathematics, University of Waterloo Postdoctoral research associate

Recent Publications

  • William Donnelly and Gabriel Wong, Entanglement branes, modular flow, and extended topological quantum field theory, JHEP (in press), arXiv: 1811.10785.
  • William Donnelly and Vasudev Shyam, Entanglement entropy and TT deformation, Phys. Rev. Lett. 121 (2018) no.13, 131602, arXiv: 1811.10785.
  • William Donnelly and Steven B. Giddings, Gravitational splitting at first order: Quantum information localization in gravity, Phys. Rev. D98 (2018) no.8, 086006, arXiv: 1805.11095.
  • Quantum gravity tomography, William Donnelly, arXiv: 1806.05643.


  • Holographic entanglement from quantum gravity, Quantum and Gravity in Okinawa, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) Graduate University, Okinawa, Japan.
  • Black holes and quantum entanglement, Bard College physics colloquium.
  • Holographic entanglement from quantum gravity' University of New Brunswick gravity seminar.
  • Entanglement branes and extended topological quantum field theory, String theory seminar, University of British Columbia.
  • Entanglement branes and extended topological quantum field theory, Institute for Advanced Study high energy theory seminar.
  • Entanglement entropy and TT deformation, Gravity, Quantum Fields and Information virtual seminar, Albert Einstein Institute Potsdam.
  • Quantum gravity tomography, Interplay of Quantum Information, Foundations, and Gravity workshop, Vienna, Austria, Wednesday.
  • Entanglement of Spacetime, MIT Center for Theoretical Physics seminar.
  • Entanglement: from gauge fields to strings, It from Qubit collaboration workshop, Bariloche, Argentina.
  • PIRSA:16050020, Entanglement of spacetime, 2016-05-05, Colloquium
  • PIRSA:15110100, Limits on locality from gravitational dressing, 2015-11-26, Quantum Gravity
  • PIRSA:15080078, Diffeomorphism-invariant observables and nonlocality, 2015-08-20, Quantum Information in Quantum Gravity II
  • PIRSA:14050122, Entanglement and Edge Modes in Gauge Theory and Gravity, 2014-05-21, Quantum Gravity Day 2014
  • PIRSA:12060067, Vacuum Entanglement and Gauge Symmetry, 2012-06-27, Relativistic Quantum Information - 2012
  • PIRSA:07090012, Entanglement Entropy in Loop Quantum Gravity, 2007-09-08