Stephen Shenker is an American theoretical physicist who works on string theory. He is currently a professor at Stanford University and director of the Stanford Institute for Theoretical Physics. His contributions to physics include:
- Basic results on the phase structure of gauge theories (with Eduardo Fradkin)
- Basic results on two dimensional conformal field theory and its relation to string theory (with Daniel Friedan, Emil Martinec and others)
- The nonperturbative formulation of matrix models of low dimensional string theory, the first nonperturbative definitions of string theory (with Michael R. Douglas)
- The discovery of distinctively stringy nonperturbative effects in string theory, later understood to be caused by D-branes. These effects play a major role in string dynamics
- The discovery of Matrix Theory, the first nonperturbative definition of String/M theory in a physical number of dimensions. Matrix Theory (see Matrix string theory ) is now understood to be a special case of the celebrated (subsequently discovered) AdS/CFT correspondence (with Tom Banks, Willy Fischler and Leonard Susskind)
- The discovery of the first distinct signature of the black hole singularity in AdS/CFT (with Lukasz Fidkowski, Veronika Hubeny and Matthew Kleban)
Stephen Shenker's brother, Scott Shenker, is a computer scientist.