My research interests have always been focused in mathematical aspects of quantum field theories, and a subject which greatly attracts me is the Casimir effect. This effect, which is a macroscopic manifestation of quantum phenomena, is best illustrated by the original situation of two large neutral conducting parallel plates placed at close distance (~mm) in vacuum: since the plates are neutral, classically we wouldn’t expect any forces. However, it can be shown that due to fluctuations of the quantum vacuum the plates are in fact attracted to each other. In general, the Casimir effect happens whenever we have quantum fields constrained by boundaries, and it is also relevant to several areas of physics such as quantum optics and cosmology, but many of its technical aspects are still not well understood.
More recently I have also been interested in the Foundations of Quantum Mechanics, especially the longstanding problem of the time scale associated with the quantum tunneling problem. This problem is of great practical and conceptual relevance, and despite its seemingly simple conceptual basis it is beset with paradoxes. In fact, it has been the subject of continuous research since the beginning days of quantum mechanics but without a definitive solution yet. Currently I am investigating the approach of quantum clocks for this problem, which by making use of the theory of weak quantum measurements may result in a sensible definition of an average tunneling time.