Broadly speaking, my current work focuses on the idea that spacetime might better be understood as an emergent quantity. The hope is this may help shed light on the many challenges we have faced when trying to understand the nature of spacetime on very small scales. More specifically, and motivated by the holographic principle, I hope to better address the question of how a set of fundamental degrees of freedom might rearrange themselves into the building blocks of spacetime. Inspired by the work of many Stanford colleagues, a large set of tools and concepts once the domain of quantum information theory, such as entanglement entropy, has provided unexpected insights into the possible solutions.

Honors & Awards

  • NSF Graduate Research Fellow, National Science Foundation (2013)
  • Alan Barett Prize (for Thesis), MIT (2013)

Education & Certifications

  • MA.St. (Part III), University of Cambridge, Theoretical Physics (2014)
  • S.B., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Physics (2013)

Stanford Advisors

All Publications

  • Matrix Quantum Mechanics from Qubits Hartnoll, S. A., Huijse, L., Mazenc, E. A. arXiv:hep-th/1608.05090. 2016
  • Entanglement Entropy in Two-Dimensional String Theory PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS Hartnoll, S. A., Mazenc, E. A. 2015; 115 (12)


    To understand an emergent spacetime is to understand the emergence of locality. Entanglement entropy is a powerful diagnostic of locality, because locality leads to a large amount of short distance entanglement. Two-dimensional string theory is among the very simplest instances of an emergent spatial dimension. We compute the entanglement entropy in the large-N matrix quantum mechanics dual to two-dimensional string theory in the semiclassical limit of weak string coupling. We isolate a logarithmically large, but finite, contribution that corresponds to the short distance entanglement of the tachyon field in the emergent spacetime. From the spacetime point of view, the entanglement is regulated by a nonperturbative "graininess" of space.

    View details for DOI 10.1103/PhysRevLett.115.121602

    View details for Web of Science ID 000361316500003

    View details for PubMedID 26430982

  • Primordial bispectrum from multifield inflation with nonminimal couplings PHYSICAL REVIEW D Kaiser, D. I., Mazenc, E. A., Sfakianakis, E. I. 2013; 87 (6)