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Our ultimate goal is to understand the key elements of Nature and the Universe and we work on the frontier of Elementary Particle Physics, Astroparticle Physics and Cosmology.
Alberto Casas González (Author of La Materia Oscura)
This accreditation, which we are proud of, recognizes what has always been one of the hallmarks of our institute: Proof of this is fontera proactive attitude towards internationalization, which leads us to host researchers from all over the world, with the only requirement of having an outstanding scientific expertise. In this context, it is natural that our researchers lead numerous scientific projects both at the national and international levels.
This substantial improvement in ftontera has led to a quantitative and qualitative jump in our our activities and results, as described in this report. I would not like to end this brief summary of the activities in these years, without mentioning the other two hallmarks that define our institute: The IFT performs an intensive task of training young researchers and professionals 5. Likewise, the IFT makes an immense effort to transfer knowledge to society through diverse outreach programs.
Through these, many young and senior people, students, workers, teachers and professional have found a way to acquire a glimpse of the research results in theoretical physics. Finally, my thanks go to the excellent work of our researchers, but also to our management, computing and communication staff, without whose help and good work realising all these achievements would have been much more difficult.
The mission of the IFT is to create the conditions and synergies necessary for the development of research of excellence in the frontiers of theoretical physics in the areas of elementary particle physics, astroparticle physics, cosmology, quantum gravity, string theory and quantum field theory with the aim to understand the fundamental mathematical laws of nature in the micro- and the macrocosmos. Besides purely scientific activity, the IFT conducts also intensive training of young researchers and professionals through graduate programs, as well as knowledge transfer to the society through outreach programs 9.
The process of creating the institute went through several stages: The collaboration agreement for the foundation of the institute was signed by the two mother institutions on 13 Fe On 10 October the institute received notification of effective implementation. Today, the IFT is a centre of national and international reference in theoretical physics.
All these achievements would not have been possible without the determined effort of its researchers and governing fronhera which have steered the functioning of the IFT during its different stages. To represent them, below we collect the Direction teams of the corresponding periods.
El ERC financia un proyecto español para investigar el protón en las colisiones del LHC
The history of this discipline has proven enormously successful, managing to synthesize a large amount of data into a relatively small set of principles and laws. Despite these past achievements, there remain certain fundamental questions which are the subject of present investigation.
The quest for answering these questions gives rise to an international effort in which our Institute takes part. As it happened in previous occasions, it is to be expected that the answers to these questions end up giving rise to technologies and applications producing great benefits to our society.
Nevertheless, given the fundamental character of the research carried out in our Institute, the main motivation for its scientists is of cultural nature: Without this curiosity it is very hard for a society to succeed and develop in a way which is both positive and harmonious for its citizens.
Thus, this activity becomes an unavoidable part of the network of persons and institutions working in both pure and applied research and in technological innovation. Within this general framework the IFT is actively pursuing research along the following lines: Quantum fields, Gravity and strings Quantum Field Theory and General Relativity are the two basic pillars of fundamental physics, providing us fronera the basic concepts and tools to study the inner structure of matter and forces from the microscopic realm up to cosmological scales.
These theoretical challenges are approached with different methods and ideas, ranging from the simulation of quantum fields on a lattice or holographic Los nuevos experimentos fronterx requerir conocimientos sobre la naturaleza fundamental de las interacciones gravitacionales, que van desde techniques to attack the strong-coupling problem, to the study of string theory, supergravity and more exotic ideas to attack the conceptual problem of unification.
The formulation of Quantum Field Theories on a spacetime lattice is essentially the only known rigorous method to perform computations in theories that do not possess enough symmetry to be solved analytically.
As such, it provides a unique framework to extract firstprinciple predictions for the low-energy non-perturbative QCD contribution to diverse Standard Model observables, control over which is crucial to properly interpret lnc LHC data. It lz finds ample application in studies of the vacuum dynamics of QCD and related gauge field theories, or the dynamics frontra models for Early Universe Physics that display strongly quantum or non-linear behaviour.
So far, the applications of these ideas to the physics of the strongly coupled quark-gluon plasma have been very interesting, and new avenues are opening up, notably in the modelling of strongly correlated systems, such as quantum critical systems in three dimensions.
On the other hand, the holographic ideas are still one of the most incisive approaches to the problem of quantum gravity, being deeply ingrained in string theory. String theory is the best candidate for a fundamental theory of Nature, with the potential to provide a unified description of gravity and the particles and interactions of the Standard Model of elementary particles.
On the latter, progress in the past few years has drastically improved the possibility of constructing string theory models of particle physics beyond the Standard Model, and studying their properties e. This provides a window of opportunity for connecting string theory with particle physics at the TeV energy scale, to be experimentally tested in coming years in the LHC at CERN. Similarly, string theory may lead to new insights into gravitational phenomena in Nature, like the cosmological evolution and the early stages of the Universe, which are being tested with ever-increasing precision e.
The new upcoming experiments may require new insights into the pa nature of gravitational interactions, ranging from basic modifications of Einstein s principles Some of these structures are tractable analytically in supergravity theories, which can be considered as fisoca approximations of string theory that still contain non-perturbative dynamical information. In the last fifteen years, largely due to the study of duality symmetries and holography, the above described paradigms have been shown to exhibit fascinating complementarities, blurring their respective boundaries, and allowing for an unprecedented and extremaly rich flow of ideas between quantum field theory, gravity and string theory.
Gravitation Gravity is the oldest known interaction. It plays a fundamental role at large from planetary to cosmological distances, where it is well described by Einstein s General Fisifa. Its nature at the shortest microscopic distances remains however mysterious since it seems that General Relativity cannot be consistently quantized.
The Quantum Theory of Gravity that replaces General Relativity at those scales should govern important phenomena such as the first stages of the Universe Big Bang or the evolution of evaporating black holes.
The main approaches that have been tried in the trontera for a Quantum Theory of Gravity are the proposal of alternative quantizations of General Relativity and the proposal of quantizable theories that may replace General Relativity at the relevant scales, while remaining compatible with its large-distance behaviour. Fsiica theories are alternative theories that provide a Quantum Theory of Gravity together with the other interactions.
They are not field theories, except in the low-energy limit, where they reduce to supergravity theories.
This line of research at the IFT studies the Quantum Ljc of Gravity provided by Superstring Theory, its low-energy supergravity limits in various dimensions, their gravitational solutions such as black holes and generalizations, and alternative theories such as unimodular gravity, the quantization of General Relativity, and related ideas.
Lattice Field Theory The lattice formulation is one of the main tools in the rigorous analysis of Quantum Field Theories. It allows to study them outside the restricted realm of perturbation theory, and in some cases it is the only known firstprinciple approach to the dynamics of strongly coupled The most remarkable instance of the latter is the fundamental theory of rrontera strong interaction, Quantum Chromodynamics QCD.
Testing the limits of the Standard Model of Particle Physics in current and forthcoming collider experiments requires precise theoretical predictions for observables sensitive to the non-trivial flavour dynamics of the theory. This in turn requires an accurate control over long-distance strong interaction physics.
Precise computations of the relevant QCD matrix elements would have a decisive impact on assumption-free determinations of the parameters controlling the non-trivial flavour dynamics of the Standard Model and its possible extensions. At a more fundamental level, detailed computations in the low-energy regime of QCD, aimed at reproducing the complex features of light hadron dynamics, are necessary to validate it as the true theory that fiscia the latter.
Lattice QCD is indeed an ideal tool to carry out fislca an analysis. However, it fiwica been long hindered by a number of systematic uncertainties, most remarkably those related to the impossibility of considering realistically light quark masses in numerical simulations. In recent years, a breakthrough in algorithmic development has brought down this barrier, turning Lattice QCD into a highly competitive field in direct contact with the experiment. Another fertile area for Lattice Field Theory concerns studies of the phenomena associated with phase transitions in the Standard Model and related new physics models.
A key example is the electroweak phase transition, which is one of the essential ingredients in the description of the Early Universe. Diverse problems such as the generation of baryon number, large scale magnetic fields, or the very origin of masses in the Standard Model, are presumably all related to the dynamics of the electroweak transition.
Along a different line, the study of QCD at finite temperature and chemical potential has flourished in the last decade, too: Again, Lattice Field Theory lies at the crossroad of these extremely active research fields.
String Phenomenology String theory is the best candidate for a fundamental theory of Nature, with continuous progress in both On the latter, the past few years have provided a drastic improvement on the potential for string theory models to be confronted with low-energy data, a development in which the group at the IFT has played a key role.
One new ingredient is the compactification of the theory to four dimensions in the presence of general background for field strength fluxes for certain antisymmetric tensor fields, leading to theories with spontaneously broken supersymmetry at low energies, and to the removal of unwanted massless scalars from the low energy physics. A second important development is the construction of intersecting brane models, which are new string theory models of particle physics based on the localization of the fields of the Standard Model on the volume of D-branes, certain non-perturbative objects of the theory.
The resulting models are very tractable, and allow the explicit computation of interactions and couplings of the particles at low energies.
This provides a window of opportunity for connecting string theory with particle physics at the TeV energy scale, to be experimentally tested in coming years. Indeed, the startup of the LHC at CERN has triggered a new era of high energy physics, which may uncover physics at the TeV energy scale and provide important information about physics at the most fundamental level. Similarly, there are important constraints on high energy physics coming from the cosmological observational data of the J and Planck satellites.
It is therefore relevant and timely to continue the development of explicit string theory models of particle physics, and to improve the trontera to compute their properties, at qualitative and quantitative level, around this range of energies.
Holography, Strings and Quantum Field Theory The so-called holographic principle is widely regarded as a cornerstone of a fully non-perturbative definition of quantum gravity. It states that the fundamental degrees of freedom in quantum gravitational systems are ascribed to boundaries rather than grontera bulk of space-time.
This duality brings string theory into the picture, and connects with a wealth of problems, ideas and methods of non-perturbative quantum field theory, such as the vacuum phases of gauge lyc and collective phenomena of gauge theories or condensed matter systems. The result has been a very fruitful interaction of ideas working in two directions: In the other direction, the semiclassical expansion of gravity, starting with Einstein s general relativity, provides a new computational technique for long-standing non-perturbative problems in quantum field theory.
The correspondence itself has been extensively tested in recent years, notably through methods borrowed from the theory of integrable systems, an endeavour in which our group has played a prominent role. Examples of applications that have been widely studied in recent times include the computation of glueball certain bound states of gluons and meson spectra in toy models of QCD, a new description of strongly fronter plasmas in terms of properties of black-hole horizons, and new hydrodynamical descriptions of systems at quantum phase transitions, among others.
A tremendous step ahead in our understanding of the origin of the mass of all elementary particles has been recently given by the LHC at CERN with the discovery of a bosonic particle with a GeV mass. This mass value challenges some of the simplest ideas for physics beyond the Standard Model SMand there still remains the open question of whether this boson is the Standard Model Higgs particle or some other scalar with analogous couplings.
In addition, there are good reasons to believe that the Standard Model is not the most fundamental theory. In particular, we do not satisfactorily understand the electroweak symmetry breaking EWSB and the pattern of fermion masses and mixings. Both aspects are related to the origin of mass, and in both we expect to have new and crucial experimental information along the next years. Also astrophysical and lbc measurements will constrain or favour physical scenarios related to these issues.
Therefore, this field with all its branches holds the promise to be the spearhead of particle physics along the next years. Sin embargo, sus valores son mucho menores que las masas de otros fermiones. Estas dos matrices son extremadamente diferentes: However, their values are much smaller than the masses of other fermions.
Lhv oscillations also point out that the neutrino mass and interaction basis differ. These two matrices are extremely different: The wide spread of the Standard Model fermion masses and the difference of the two mixing matrices are part of the flavour problem of the Standard Model: The group at the IFT pursues different lines of research in this field.
See-saw models are an interesting option to generate very small neutrino masses: The complete measurement of the PMNS matrix elements is an unfinished task contrary to the case of pa CKM matrix that must be concluded in order to build a model for fermion masses and mixings. In particular, we have no clue about the possible existence of CPviolating phenomena in the leptonic sector, something that could have strong consequences.
For instance, the generation of the matter-antimatter asymmetry in the Universe through the mechanism of leptogenesis.
This is the generation of an excess of antileptons over leptons, through the decay of heavy particles into light leptons at high temperatures only if the B-L, C and CP symmetries are simultaneously broken ; this excess is then converted into dd baryonic asymmetry by nonperturbative sphaleron processes when the Universe gets colder in its cosmological evolution, thus offering a possible fiskca of the observed matter-antimatter asymmetry.
Finally, it is eventually expected that astrophysical neutrino sources become an important tool tounveil the properties of neutrinos and of the universe, as well.