My research is mostly focused on two avenues. The first is the topic of gravitational dualities. The introduction of higher curvature terms and into the Einstein-Hilbert action can lead to nontrivial gravitational behaviour. I am involved in exploring the effect of these higher curvature terms on potential dual theories to gravity, namely those of condensed matter physics. In particular, it is predicted that anisotropy with higher curvature terms may be able to describe non-Fermi liquids, which are basically extensions of the Fermi liquid model of interacting fermions in most metals.

More specifically, I have recently been interested in Lifshitz-symmetric black hole thermodynamics. An asymptotically Lifshitz scaling symmetry is conjectured to model critical point phenomena in condensed matter systems, and the idea is to add higher curvature terms (while ensuring that the gravitational theory does not become pathological) to reproduce observables of the condensed matter theory, such as magnetic susceptibility and phase transition behaviour.

The second avenue is relativistic quantum information. I have been interested in the Unruh effect and its influence on particles following finite trajectories. One question is how the entanglement between two particles would be affected if one of them accelerates in a particular manner, drawing analogues with the entanglement degradation experienced if one particle is near the horizon of a black hole.


  1. Scientific Articles

    [A9] W. G. Brenna, R. B. Mann, and M. Park, Mass and Thermodynamic Volume in Lifshitz Spacetimes, Phys. Rev. D 92 (2015) arXiv:1505.06331

    [A8] R. A. Hennigar, W. G. Brenna, and R. B. Mann, P-V Criticality in Quasitopological Gravity, JHEP 2015 7 (2015) arXiv:1505.05517

    [A7] W. G. Brenna, R. B. Mann, and E. Martin-Martinez, Anti-Unruh Phenomena, Phys. Lett. B 757 (2016) arXiv:1504.02468

    [A6] M. Ghanaatian, A. Bazrafshan, and W. G. Brenna, Lifshitz Quartic Quasitopological Black Holes, Phys. Rev. D 89 (2014) arXiv:1402.0820

    [A5] W. G. Brenna, E. G. Brown, R. B. Mann, and E. Martin-Martinez, Universality and thermalization in the Unruh Effect, Phys. Rev. D 88 (2013) arXiv:1307.3335

    [A4] W. G. Brenna and R. B. Mann, Quasi-topological Reissner-Nordstr\"om Black Holes, Phys. Rev. D 86 (2012) arXiv:1206.4738

    [A3] W. G. Brenna, M. H. Dehghani, and R. B. Mann, Quasi-Topological Lifshitz Black Holes, Phys. Rev. D 84 (2011) arXiv:1101.3476

    [A2] W. G. Brenna and I. Trigger, ATLAS Detector Studies using Z Boson Leptonic Decay, Canadian Undergraduate Physics Journal 07 1 (2008)

    [A1] W. G. Brenna, DNA Fingerprinting of Potato Varieties, ScienceFoundry 2 (2004)

  2. Preprints

    [P1] W. G. Brenna and C. Flori, Complex Numbers, One-Parameter of Unitary Transformations and Stone's Theorem in Topos Quantum Theory, Preprint (arXiv) * (2012) arXiv:1206.0809

  3. Others

    [O2] W. G. Brenna, Thermodynamics and Universality in Anisotropic Higher Curvature Spacetimes, University of Waterloo, PhD Thesis (2016)

    [O1] V. Martinez and W. G. Brenna, CUPC 2011, Physics in Canada 68 1 (2012)