A new Simons Collaboration builds on a discovery by an ENS researcher

The Simons Foundation (USA) has funded a new “Simons Collaboration on the Non-Perturbative Bootstrap”, which includes Slava Rychkov, ENS-MHIF Chair in High Energy Physics, and 14 other researchers.

Quantum field theory (QFT) is a universal language for theoretical physics, describing the Standard Model of particle physics, early universe inflation, and condensed matter phenomena such as phase transitions, superconductors, and quantum Hall fluids. A triumph of 20th century physics was to understand weakly coupled QFTs. However, weakly interacting systems represent a tiny island in theory space and cannot capture many of the most interesting physical phenomena.

The critical challenge for the 21st century is to map and understand the whole space of QFTs, including strongly coupled models. This is the main goal of the new Simons Collaboration. Meeting this challenge requires new physical insight, new mathematics, and new computational tools. The starting point is the astonishing discovery, made by Rychkov in 2008, that the space of QFTs can be determined by using only general principles : symmetries and quantum mechanics. By analyzing the full implications of these general principles, one can make sharp predictions for physical observables without resorting to approximations. This strategy is called the bootstrap.

More information about the collaboration can be found here : http://pheno11.physics.sunysb.edu/BootstrapCollaboration/