Quantum Field Theory at Finite Coupling
Start date: Oct 1, 2014,
End date: Sep 30, 2018
"The constituents of atoms in nature are quarks and gluons. The quarks source a color flux between them that result in the strong nuclear force, confining them together. The same gluonic color flux controls almost any strong coupling dynamics in the theory of gluons, namely quantum chromodynamics (QCD). For instance, it arises in parts in the computation of scattering amplitudes of these particles. Hence, to understand fundamental physical phenomena that originate from strong coupling dynamics we need to understand the dynamics of the gluonic color flux. Conventional textbook theoretical tools are based on perturbation theory and are therefore insufficient for explaining such phenomena. In the late 1960s, string theory was founded as a theoretical framework for studying the color flux between quarks. It was soon abandoned in favor of QCD. Only many years latter we understood that the string description of the flux naturally lives in an higher dimensional space-time. Moreover, in that higher dimensional space-time, it provides a consistent description of quantum gravity.My research program will build on new techniques that are motivated by the string description of the color flux and are based on Integrability and Holography. These techniques allows for the first time exact computations of dynamical quantities in strongly coupled particle theories with large number of gluons. Solvability usually arises in one-dimensional condensed matter systems but its appearance in the context of particle theory in four space-time dimensions is both unexpected and exciting. For example, we recently understood how to compute scattering amplitudes in a certain theory of gluons at any strength of the interaction. The goal of this program is to solve completely an interacting gauge theory in four dimension. I expect that such a solution would play an analogues role in QFT to the one played by the Hydrogen atom in chemistry."
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