Quantum field theory (QFT) is a universal language for theoretical physics, describing the Standard Model, gravity, 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: theories whose interactions can be treated as small perturbations of otherwise freely moving particles. However, weakly coupled QFTs represent a tiny island in an ocean of possibilities. They cannot capture many of the most interesting and important physical phenomena, from the strong nuclear force to high temperature superconductivity.
The critical challenge for the 21st century is to understand and solve strongly coupled QFTs. Meeting this challenge will require new physical insight, new mathematics, and new computational tools. Our collaboration combines deep knowledge of novel, non-perturbative techniques with a concrete plan for attacking the problem of strong coupling. The starting point is the astonishing discovery that in numerous physical systems, there is a unique quantum field theory consistent with general principles of symmetry 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, the topic of this five week program.
Local Organizers: Vasco Gonçalves (ICTP-SAIFR, Brazil), Pedro Vieira (IFT-SAIFR-Perimeter, Brazil-Canada)
Organizing Committee: Chris Beem (U. Oxford, UK), Jared Kaplan (Johns Hopkins U., USA), Joao Penedones (EPFL-Lausanne, Switzerland), David Poland (Yale U., USA) and Balt Van Rees (Durham U., UK)
Scientific Advisory Committee: The members of the Simons Non-perturbative Bootstrap Collaboration.
Simons Collaborations, made possible by support from the Simons Foundation, bring together groups of outstanding scientists to address mathematical or theoretical topics of fundamental scientific importance in which a significant new development has created a novel area for exploration or provided a new direction for progress in an established field.