Litchfield Professor of Astronomy
Seth Major's research is in quantum gravity, a field of theoretical physics devoted to finding the deep structure of space-time, and in the phenomenology of quantum geometry. Recently Major has focused on possible observable consequences of quantum gravity, particularly on how granular spatial geometry might be indirectly observed. He has worked on the quantum deformation of quantum gravity, causal sets, operators in quantum gravity and modified dispersion relations. Major was a Lise Meitner Fellow at the Institute for Theoretical Physics of the University of Vienna and taught at Swarthmore and Deep Springs colleges. He earned a doctorate in theoretical physics from Pennsylvania State University.
Recent Courses Taught
Topics in Mathematical Physics
Dean’s Scholarly Achievement Award for Early Career Achievement Hamilton College, 2012
Cottrell Science Grant, Research Corporation, 2002, renewed 2005
Class of 1966 Career Development Award, Hamilton College, 2002
Lisa Meitner Fellow, University of Vienna 1998-1999
- F. Girelli, F. Hinterleitner, S. Major. “Loop Quantum Gravity Phenomenology: Linking Loops to Observational Physics” SIGMA 8 (2012) 098 arXiv:1210.1485.
- F. Hinterleitner and S. Major. “Toward Loop Quantization of Plane Gravitational Waves” Class. Quantum Grav. 29 (2012) 065019 arXiv:1106.1448.
- S. Major. “Shape in an Atom of Space: Exploring Quantum Geometry Phenomenology” Class. Quantum Grav. 27 (2010) 225012 arXiv:1005.5460.
- S. Major, D. Rideout, S. Surya. “Spatial Hypersurfaces in Causal Set Cosmology” Class. Quantum Grav. 23 (2006) 4743-4751 arXiv: gr-qc/0506133.
- S. Major. “A Spin Network Primer” Am. J. Phys. 67 (1999) 972-980 arXiv: gr-qc/9905020.
- S. Major. “On the q-Quantum Gravity Loop Algebra” Class. Quantum Grav. 25 (2008) 065003 arXiv: 0708.0750.
- D. Craig, F. Dowker, J. Henson, S. Major, D. Rideout, R. Sorkin. “A Bell Inequality Analog in Quantum Measure Theory” J. Phys. A: Math. Theor. 40 (2007) 501-523 arXiv:quantphys/0605008.
- S. Major, D. Rideout, S. Surya. “On Recovering Continuum Topology from a Causal Set” J. Math. Phys. 48 (2007) 032501 arXiv: gr-qc/0604124.
- F. Hinterleitner and S. Major. “Isotropic Loop Quantum Cosmology with Matter II: The Lorentzian Constraint” Phys. Rev. D 68 (2003) 124023 arXiv: gr-qc/0309035.
- S. Major. “Quasilocal Energy for Spin-net Gravity” Class. Quant. Grav. 17 (2000) 1467-1487 arXiv: gr-qc/9906052.
- S. Major. “Operators for Quantized Directions” Class. Quant. Grav. 16 (1999) 3859-3877 arXiv: gr-qc/9905019.
- S. Major. “Embedded Graph Invariants in Chern-Simons Theory” Nuc. Phys. B 550 (1999) 531-560 arXiv: hep-th/9810071.
- V. Husain and S. Major. “Gravity and BF Theory Defined in Bounded Regions” Nuc. Phys. B 500 (1997) 381-401 arXiv: gr-qc/9703043.
- Long Term Planning Committee, 2014-15
- Adirondack Program Committee, 2014-present
- Committee on Appointments, 2013-15
- Faculty Appeals Board Committee, chair 2013
- Sub-Committee on First Year Courses, 2013
- Committee on Academic Policy, 2005-08; chair 2007-08, 2010-11
- Assessment Advisory Group, 2009-present
Anacapa Society Board
American Physical Society
American Association of Physics Teachers
Appointed to the Faculty2000
Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University
M.S., Syracuse University
B.A., Swarthmore College