The idea of a unified description of the basic physical interactions has its origin in Maxwell's unification of electricity and magnetism, matured in Weyl's and Kaluza's attempts to unify gravity and electromagnetism, and achieved its full strength in the unification of weak, electromagnetic and, to some extent, strong interactions. The biggest barrier to this attractive idea comes from a continual resistance of gravity to abide the concepts of unification and/or quantization, which seem so natural in the context of electroweak and strong interactions. Is gravity, by such a persistent behavior, making an ultimate effort to tell us something about the small-scale structure of spacetime and fundamental interactions?
For more than five decades, physicists have been trying to find an answer to this difficult question by focusing their attention on those aspects of gravity that are closely related to its quantization and unification with other fundamental interactions. Our group participates in this exciting undertaking by exploring dynamical and symmetry structure of:
(a) alternative theories of gravity based on non-Riemannian geometry of spacetime,
(b) strings and branes,
(c) discrete spacetime models, and
(d) noncommutative field theories in particle physics and gravity.