Analytic techniques to explore Conformal Field Theories

Agnese Bissi
Agnese Bissi. Photo: Camilla Thulin.

The Swedish Research Council took decision on November 1, 2018 on project grants and starting grants on Natural and Engineering Sciences. The Department of Physics and Astronomy is granted 34 980 000 SEK for the period 2018-2022 for in total seven project grants and three starting grants. The projects will begin during 2019.

Project Description

Project title: Analytic techniques to explore Conformal Field Theories
Main applicant: Agnese Bissi, Division of Theoretical Physics
Grant amount: 3 970 000 SEK for the period 2019-2022
Funder: Starting grant from the Swedish Research Council

This project will study analytically conformal field theories in space-time dimensions greater than two. The approach that will be used goes under the name of conformal bootstrap and does not rely on a Lagrangian description but on symmetries and consistency conditions. For this reason it applies to any conformal field theory in any number of dimensions, offering a unified framework to study them analytically. The project aims at studying two classes of theories: supersymmetric conformal field theories and conformal field theories in the presence of defects. Such theories have a wide range of applications, from quantum gravity to condensed matter, and understanding their dynamics will shed light on more general quantum field theories. The project can be split in several sub-projects which are easier to solve and which can result into publications. This is useful both to create clear achievable goals and for the career path of the Post-Docs involved. The idea would be to first adapt existing techniques to the cases at hand and then integrate such techniques with new ideas to approach these theories. Both strands require some technical background and a basic understanding of conformal field theories so the plan would be to hire two Post-Docs, for 2+1 years each, in such a way that each Post-Doc can work on a single strand. The third year of each post doc will be covered by departmental money and it will be covered assuming satisfactory performance and availability of funding.