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QUANTUM PHYSICS

The quantum theory of fields (QFT) plays a crucial role in modern Theoretical Physics. At present there are four types of fundamental interactions which are all formulated as gauge field theories. The quantum versions of three of them (electromagnetic, weak and strong interaction) are well established. Together they form the gauge group SU(3) x SU(2) x U(1) and explain all scattering experiments done at high energy laboratories. Several projects in our group deal with QFT beyond perturbation theory. Two powerful methods are used in this context are scale dependent effective action given by a functional renormalization group equation and large scale Monte Carlo simulation for the theories discretized on a space-time lattice. We include supersymmetric QFT in our studies since at present such theories are the only viable theories which solve several long standing problems in the early universe and particle physics. Related projects deal with QFT in strong electromagnetic and gravitational fields or at high temperature and high density. We aim at understanding and calculating physical effects like Hawking radiation in strong gravitational fields and phase transitions in the early universe.

Research areas

In his research, Prof. Wipf investigates systems with many or infinitely many degrees of freedom under extreme conditions - in very strong electromagnetic and gravitational fields, at high temperatures and at high densities. He aims to gain understanding in and calculation of physical effects like Hawking radiation in strong gravitational fields, dispersive and absorptive vacuum effects in quantized electrodynamics, phase transitions in the early universe and the phase diagram of strongly coupled gauge theories, and in particular of quantum chromodynamics. Research thrusts include:

  • the interaction of matter with photons and gauge particles
  • vacuum polarization effects and particle production in strong fields
  • phases and phase transitions at high temperatures and ultra-high densities
  • quantum field theories with supersymmetry

Teaching fields

Prof. Wipf 's teaching is devoted both to undergraduate and graduate physics education and PhD courses within the research training group Quantum and Gravitational Fields. He gives courses in:

  • Classical and Quantum Mechanics, Electrodynamics
  • Thermodynamics and Statistical Physics
  • Quantum Field Theory
  • Path Integrals, Supersymmetry, Symmetries in Physics

Research methods

The research group led by Prof. Wipf uses a wide range of modern and powerful theoretical methods and equipment to investigate strongly correlated physical systems and systems under extreme conditions. These include:

  • high-performance simulations at local clusters and computer centers
  • Monte-Carlo renormalization group methods
  • functional renormalization group equations
  • properties of supersymmetric systems

>> link to the Quantum Physics Group

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