CERN Accelerating science

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CERN Accelerating science

TH group looks forward to 2015

by Wolfgang Lerche

In 2014, the CERN Theory Unit has continued to play a leading role as a reference center in all areas of theoretical particle physics. Its research covers a wide spectrum ranging from Standard Model physics directly related to the LHC, to formal aspects of quantum field and string theory. A major part of the research also deals with particle physics phenomenology beyond the Standard Model (such as supersymmetric and higher dimensional extensions), astroparticle physics and cosmology, heavy ion physics as well as lattice field theory and mathematical physics. In total, roughly half of the research effort is devoted to Standard Model and beyond the Standard Model particle physics. Often projects overlap between fields, like dark matter being possibly relevant for both cosmology and collider physics, or black hole physics being holographically related to heavy ion collisions.

Our group comprises of 18 staff members and more than 35 Fellows at a given moment. Moreover we host 10-15 Paid Scientific Associates and welcome approx. 800 paid and unpaid, short-term visitors per year. The total head count of the group exceeds 120 during the busy summer months. The high turnover is an important aspect of our role as a world-leading meeting center for scientific exchange. 

An important contribution towards fostering international collaboration and exchanging ideas are our “Theory Institutes”, which are informal workshops lasting for up to a few weeks. They optimize our resources by bundling together visiting scientists with common interests, and sharing our resources with the international community. In 2014 we had all-in-all four of such events, namely workshops on “Resurgence and Transseries in Quantum, Gauge and String Theories”, “Conceptual advances in lattice gauge theory”, “Exact Results in SUSY Gauge Theories in Various Dimensions”, and “Numerical Holography”.

Furthermore, members of PH-TH showed a high visibility at various international conferences and workshops, and were involved in the work of the Particle Data Group, as well as in several teaching activities, including the Academic Training, the Summer Student and High-School Teacher programs, as well as in the European and Latin American Schools of High-Energy Physics. A particularly important ongoing activity is the LHC Physics Centre at CERN (LPCC), which contributes with workshops, lectures and various working groups (see  

As every year, we conducted in November the "TH retreat" which offers to the TH members a comprehensive overview of all the ongoing research activities, to facilitate integration of newcomers and generally exchange ideas in a stimulating environment. The programme, accessible here, represents a good snapshot of the current activities of the TH Unit.
The members of the TH group look forward to 2015, which it is going to be a very interesting year for theorists, as the new run of the LHC will allow higher precision measurements, and potentially find first hints about physics beyond the Standard Model.