Slava Rychkov, Ph.D.Permanent Professor, Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques
Simons Foundation Lectures are free public colloquia related to basic science and mathematics. These high-level talks are intended for professors, students, postdocs and business professionals, but interested people from the metropolitan area are welcome as well.
Scientists love to reduce physical systems to a few elementary blocks, which they use like Lego building blocks to build more complicated ‘composite’ objects. Geoffrey Chew in the 1960s hypothesized, in connection with high-energy physics, a different type of situation. In this scenario, there are infinitely many particles, all of them equally elementary (or equally composite). The particles mutual existence is forced by tight requirements of self-consistency. He called this scheme ‘bootstrap,’ referring to a magical act of lifting oneself by one’s shoes.
In this lecture, Slava Rychkov will explain how the ‘bootstrap’ idea recently found a concrete realization in the theory of critical phenomena, with the three-dimensional Ising model being the simplest bootstrap system.