Solving Quantum Field Theory

Navn på bevillingshaver

Francesco Sannino




University of Southern Denmark


DKK 19,411,000




Semper Ardens: Advance


Bohr’s quantum mechanics and Einstein’s theory of special relativity revolutionized our understanding of nature from the atomic world to how rays of light propagate. These theories are at the heart of the quantum information and computing technological revolutions as well as the working of the Global Position System. Yet, when fusing quantum mechanics and special relativity the resulting theory is incompatible with the most elementary concepts such as causality, i.e. that the cause must precede its effect. Quantum Field Theory (QFT) is the only known way to reconcile quantum mechanics and special relativity. It has allowed mankind to achieve the most profound understanding of the laws of the Universe, from the Standard Model to cosmology and condensed matter physics.


Much is still left to be understood about QFTs, especially in regimes where theories are strongly interacting and standard calculations methods fail. Quantum chromodynamics (QCD), the theory responsible for the existence of protons and neutrons, is the most celebrated example of a strongly interacting QFT. Quantum gravity itself becomes strongly coupled at the Planck scale. Similar strongly coupled systems are encountered in condensed matter, particle physics and string theory. The ambitious goal of this project is to map and solve Quantum Field Theory dynamics by exploiting different regimes that allow for controlled investigations and precise results thereby addressing some of the truly outstanding forefront problems in physics.


The project exploits novel synergies among different powerful scientific methodologies ranging from renormalization group methods to mathematical semiclassical and effective approaches as well as numerical computations via high-performance supercomputers to solve for the dynamics of Quantum Field Theories. The synthesis of highly impactful approaches will inevitably lead to important progress in these challenging and exciting scientific problems. Theoretical physics is perhaps the highest-impact, lowest-cost area of basic research. My research advances the understanding of the fundamental laws of the Universe and produces the seeds for the technologies of tomorrow with innumerable long-term benefits to society. The reason is clear: any technology relies on the laws of nature: the better we understand those laws, the more powerful the technologies we can create. Short term benefits for society include: inspiring young minds and increasing the number of students interested in science: raising the level of knowledge in the fundamental fields of mathematics and physics: training new generations to attack and solve highly complex problems relevant to overcame societal challenges.

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