Keith Copsey

University of Waterloo

Areas of Research:

Research Interests

My research has focused on the gravitational aspects of string theory in both AdS/CFT and cosmology. In AdS/CFT I have generally been involved in examining and testing the correspondence beyond the protection of supersymmetry by both modifying boundary conditions and studying non-supersymmetric spacetimes with striking properties using the usual supersymmetric boundary conditions. In particular I have recently been involved in showing that the current constructions of asymptotically Lifshitz spacetimes, conjectured to be dual descriptions of relatively common condensed matter systems, suffer from a subtle inner singularity that can not be resolved by standard string theory effects and that imposing the usual boundary conditions forbids generic perturbations to the spacetime deep in the bulk. Cosmologically I am interested in singularity resolution, inflation and possible alternatives to inflation, de Sitter in string theory, and understanding the extent to which a string theory landscape exists. I have recently pointed out that the usual methods constructing purportedly long-lived de Sitter vacua actually result in relatively rapidly decaying states, once gravity and some technical subtleties are taken into account. As a result, it is not clear that any constructions currently understood result in long-lived de Sitter vacua, let alone large families of such solutions.

Positions Held

  • 2007-2010 Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Waterloo

Recent Publications

  • K. Copsey and R. B. Mann, ``Pathologies in Asymptotically Lifshitz Spacetimes,'' arXiv: 1011.3502 JHEP {\bf 1103} (2011) 039
  • K. Copsey, ``Gravitation and tunnelling: Subtleties of the thin-wall approximation and rapid decays,'' arXiv: 1108.2255


  • ``Lifshitz spacetimes: a cautionary tale,'' Black Holes VIII, Niagara Falls
  • ``New puzzles for AdS/CFT: Bubble Trouble,'' USC
  • ``New puzzles for AdS/CFT: Bubble Trouble,'' UCLA
  • ``New puzzles for AdS/CFT: Bubble Trouble,'' Durham University
  • ``New puzzles for AdS/CFT: Bubble Trouble,'' Imperial College, London
  • ``Higher dimensional gravity, bubbles, and new puzzles for AdS/CFT,'' DAMTP, Cambridge
  • PIRSA:11080145, Gravity and Rapid Tunnelling, 2011-08-24, Cosmology Talks
  • ``Gravity and Rapid Tunnelling'', 2011-08-26, Strings group meeting
  • "Gravitation and tunneling: Subtleties of the thin wall approximation and rapid decays" 2011-05-05, Cosmology group meeting
  • ``Pathologies in Asymptotically Lifshitz Spacetimes,'' 2010-11-18, Strings group meeting
  • PIRSA:08060167, Bubbles of Nothing and Violations of the Energy Conditions in AdS-CFT, 2008-06-06, PASCOS 08