This award funds the research of Professors Peter Goddard and Edward Witten at the Institute for Advanced Study.
The work of Professors Goddard and Witten is devoted to the study of elementary particle physics, including its connections to other areas of study ranging from astrophysics and cosmology to condensed matter physics and geometry. The project will partly support the research of the principal investigators, a senior visitor, and a substantial group of postdoctoral fellows who are working on these topics. Current and planned research of this group covers a very wide range of topics, including the connections between gauge theory (the modern language of elementary particle physics), string theory, and geometry; the possibilities for supersymmetric models of particle physics that might be relevant at accelerator energies; new methods of computing and studying the scattering amplitudes of elementary particles; new experimental hints of cosmic dark matter; and new relations among old and new quantum field theories in different dimensions.
The broader impacts of this project include the training of a large number of young postdoctoral researchers. For many years, the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) has provided an ideal "training ground" for young postdocs to work with the best of their peers and gather critical research experience. Ultimately, IAS postdocs help populate the most active teaching and research institutions in the country, serving in turn as mentors and teachers of students in the physical and biological sciences. The IAS also hosts a widely attended summer school (Prospects in Theoretical Physics), often in topics closely related to the present project, which benefits IAS postdocs as well as students and postdocs from around the US and the world.