DFG funds new Research Training Group „Rethinking Quantum Field Theory': The group based in the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin will be funded with about 4 Mio Euro

11. November 2019

DFG funds new Research Training Group „Rethinking Quantum Field Theory“

The group based in the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin will be funded with about 4 Mio Euro

Logo: GRK

The Research Training Group (RTG) “Rethinking Quantum Field Theory” is based in the Physics Department and the IRIS Adlers­hof of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HU). From April 2020, it will be funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) for four and a half years with about 4 Mio Euro. The RTG will address urgent theoretical questions and significant innovations in quantum field theory (QFT) that go beyond established methods.

Quantum field theory (QFT), the unification of quantum mechanics and special relativity, represents a major intellectual achievement of the past century. These innovations culminated in the formulation of the Standard Model (SM). With the discovery of the Higgs boson, the SM is an empirical validated and mathematically consistent theory valid up to highest energies. However, a number of terrestrial experiments exhibit significant tensions with the SM, while astrophysical observations require the existence of dark matter and energy showing that the SM is not the ultimate theory of particle physics. In addition, pressing theoretical issues as the quest for a quantum theory of gravity, the hierarchy problem and the discovery of dualities between different QFTs raise questions about the foundations of the SM and QFT in general.

In recent years important innovations in QFT occurred leading the community to a serious rethinking of its core concepts. These include the methodology of perturbation theory, dualities and hidden symmetries, the prominent role of effective field theory in fundamental physics, modern on-shell methods for scattering amplitudes and the gradient flow methodology in lattice field theory. The further development of these methods and concepts of modern QFT leading to a deep rethinking of it provides the common basis of this proposed research training group (RTG). We designed a timely qualification program for the new generation of quantum field theorists.

The RTG is headed by 12 principal investigators including senior and junior research group leaders, encompassing all groups working in theoretical high energy physics Humboldt University. Partners of the RTG are the Max-Planck-Institute for Gravitational Physics and the Helmholtz Center DESY. IRIS Adlers­hof is involved with several members in the newly established RTG. These are RTG-spokesman Prof. Jan Plefka, Dr. Valentina Forini, Prof. Dirk Kreimer and Prof. Matthias Staudacher.

Further information:

Prof. Dr. Jan Plefka
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
IRIS Adlershof | Institute of Physics
Phone: +49 30 2093-66409