The Centre for Particle Theory has won an international reputation for its research into particle physics. Information about its wide range of research activities can be found below.
Phenomenology is the study of particle physics at energy scales probed by present-day or near future experiments. Our research spans the theory of the entire breadth of the experimental particle physics program and addresses fundamental issues such as the Origin of Mass and the Higgs Boson as well as the Matter-Antimatter Asymmetry of the Universe.
Quantum field theory is the basic framework used to describe many-body quantum phenomena in nature, and many of its predictions have been experimentally confirmed to great precision. Our general understanding of QFTs is however incomplete, especially in strongly coupled regimes, a subject of intense interest in modern theoretical physics. A major avenue for recent progress has been the study of theories with a high degree of symmetry, and in particular certain supersymmetric theories which are especially tractable. As described in more detail below, the study of these theories is extremely useful for our understanding of both QFT and quantum gravity, and this provides the fundamental motivation for our work. A prominent class of supersymmetic theories are the so-called N = 4 super Yang-Mills (SYM) theories, and these form a particular focus for the research of our group.
The discovery of the holographic relation between conformal field theories and string theory on asymptotically anti-de Sitter spacetimes has revolutionised the study of both field theory and quantum gravity. The gravitational description provides a powerful approach to calculations in strongly-coupled field theory, and at the same time the field theory provides a fundamental definition of string theory in which we can seek to understand the description of quantum spacetime, providing clues to the deep mysteries of quantum gravity.
Cosmology is the study of the large scale properties of the universe as a whole, its origin, evolution and fate. The prevailing theory about the origin and evolution of our Universe is the so-called Big Bang theory. We explore the interface with field theory, studying cosmological constraints on standard model and beyond standard model physics
We have a broad programme of work on non-perturbative aspects of field theory, which ranges from work on solitons, where we have a world-leading group, to integrable models and novel approaches to field theory, including work on resurgence in perturbation theory.