QFT_HEP QFT for High Energy Physics
Physics of the Standard Model and beyond SM


The Standard Model of elementary particle physics, one of the mankind's most important achievements, provides a unified description of the observed phenomena in fundamental physics in terms of the interactions between leptons and quarks, the elementary constituents of matter. From particle physics experiments there are at present no strong hints of discrepancies with the SM predictions, up to TeV energies.

However, the SM leaves fundamental questions unanswered: the number of forces, the number of generations of elementary fermions, the nature of the dark matter, the matter-antimatter asymmetry in the Universe. Moreover, the model does not include a consistent quantum theory for gravity. The idea that the SM is an effective field theory valid at up to the energies scales accessible to present experiments, but needing to be extended at higher energies, has to be developed and tested.

The elaboration of theories beyond the SM has mainly been driven by the need of understanding the vast difference between the electroweak and the Planck scale. The SM extensions facing this problem involve compositeness, supersymmetry, extra-dimensions. After the first period of data taking at the LHC, this is an issue of crucial importance.

Physics beyond the SM can be disclosed producing new heavy particles at the high energy colliders. It is also possible to search the virtual effects of new particles or interactions in low-energy high-luminosity experiments. Energy scales beyond the reach of the high-energy accelerators can be probed analyzing flavor physics phenomena, with the precision studies of processes involving B and D mesons, Lambda_b baryons, kaons, charged leptons. The effects of gravitation on the SM phenomena can also be investigated, namely considering the consequences of the anomalous breaking of scale invariance. The development of computational techniques to deal with strong interaction quantities, using methods inspired by the gauge/gravity duality, is important as well. New problems in QCD, for example concerning the interpretation of recently observed hadrons with unexpected properties, show the vitality of the various sectors of the elementary interactions.

At the same time, in the last two decades, a large number of experiments have attempted to look for answers to fundamental questions concerning the origin of our Universe, trying to interpret astrophysical phenomena such as the discovery that this is undergoing a phase of accelerated expansion. The hypothesis that ordinary matter could be accompanied by dark matter and by dark energy as constituents of our Universe finds large support, bringing to converging interests of the particle physics, astrophysics and cosmology communities.

Our research group is active in a particle physics phenomenology programme on these topics. The international collaboration involves TUM Munich, Mainz University, JINR Dubna, Ecole Polytechnique, Crete University, Los Alamos National Laboratory, University of Tessalonikki, Manchester University, Madrid UAM University, Tomsk State University, Southampton University.

A feature of our team is the effort in training young post-docs, PhD and graduate students. In the period 2010-2014 our group produced 6 PhD theses (one of them "Sergio Fubini" prize of the INFN national theoretical committee) and about 15 master theses in high energy theoretical physics. An international school on LHC for PhD students has been organized in Martignano (Lecce). Moreover, QCD@Work, a series of international workshops devoted to Quantum Chromodynamics and to the theory of fundamental interactions, is organized by our team every two years. The 2014 edition, the 7th one of the series, has been held in Giovinazzo (Bari) in June 2014 (http://www.ba.infn.it/~wqcd/2014/).