Hung Ling Yan 孔令欣

  • Fellowship in 2012 at Harvard University

Dr Hung has aspired to be a theoretical physicist, to understand the world around us through the beauty and rigour of Mathematics since she was a child. She has been  very fortunate to be able to pursue her dreams in the most stimulating places around the world, inspired by many great scientists and thinkers of our age. She did her undergraduate degree at the University of Oxford, and subsequently her PhD at the University of Cambridge under the supervision of Prof. M. Green, one of the founding fathers of String theory. She began cross-disciplinary research, working on the intersection of high energy physics and condensed matter physics during her three-year post-doctoral tenure at Perimeter Institute, Canada. In 2012, She was awarded the Croucher Fellowship and continued research at Harvard with Prof. Sachdev, who is a pioneer in applying methods in string theory to the study of condensed matter systems. She was a Professor of Physics at Fudan University, China between 2014- 2022, before moving to the Yau Mathematical Sciences Center, Tsinghua University,  China. 


She works on the study of entanglement entropy through the use of string theoretic methods called the AdS/CFT correspondence. The entanglement entropy is an important quantitative measure of quantum entanglement and its properties are crucial to our understanding of the nature of quantum entanglement and different phases of matter. With the help of ground breaking results in string theory, namely the  AdS/CFT  correspondence, which relates a field theoretic problem to a computation in classical gravity in certain limits, it offers very powerful and novel techniques to extract analytically the physical observables and many other properties of a wide class of models, among them also the entanglement entropy. Currently she is trying to understand the AdS/CFT correspondence using the framework of tesor network -- i.e. to explicitly construct a linear map between the CFT and the AdS, making use of insights in topological symmetries developed in condensed matter physics.