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Jørgen Ellegaard Andersen wins € 10 million ERC Synergy Grant

The European Research Council (ERC) has granted an ERC Synergy Grant of 10 million Euros to the project “Recursive and Exact New Quantum Theory” (ReNewQuantum), with Professor Jørgen Ellegaard Andersen as the lead Principal Investigator (PI) with Centre for Quantum Geometry of Moduli spaces (QGM), Aarhus University, as corresponding host institution. It is the first time Aarhus University is involved in an ERC Synergy Grant, and it is the first time an ERC synergy grant is given to a pure mathematics/theoretical physics project.

2018.10.23 | QGM, Peter F. Gammelby

Jørgen Ellegaard Andersen

Jørgen Ellegaard Andersen is the first Danish researcher to be the corresponding Principal Investigator (cPI) on an ERC Synergy Grant, as well as the first scientist at Aarhus University to be involved in one. Photo: Christine Dilling, AU

 “ReNewQuantum” is a new approach to Quantum Theory and the main idea behind it takes its origin in the research agenda of QGM; a DNRF Center of Excellence led by Jørgen Ellegaard Andersen at the Department of Mathematics at Aarhus University.

However, where QGM with great success has focused on certain specific and special quantum theories, “ReNewQuantum” is aimed at Quantum Theory as a whole. The project proposes a scheme, which provides explicit recursive schemes to compute quantum corrections to all orders; it gives exact results by using all non-perturbative corrections and as something fundamentally new, it is based on advanced geometry and topology.

A new approach to Quantum Theory

ERC Synergy
27 research groups across Europe have won highly-coveted ERC Synergy Grants in this call. This funding - maximum € 10 million per project - enables groups of two to four lead researchers to bring together complementary skills, knowledge and resources to jointly address research problems at the frontiers of knowledge. The grants are part of the EU's research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020 and the most prestigious grants due to its size and high requirement of research excellence.

“It is a fantastic opportunity to solely concentrate on this fascinating area between mathematics and physics for a sustained period of time”, says Jørgen Ellegaard Andersen.

He explains, that where quantum mechanics has a sound mathematical foundation, this is still lacking for Quantum Field Theory, certainly for theories as complex as the standard model of elementary particle physics and also for string theory, which is the current best candidate for quantum gravity.

“On the mathematical side, functional analysis has had a close interaction with Quantum Theory since its creation some hundered years ago. It is only during the last four decades that we have seen very successful applications of techniques from Quantum Theory in physics applied to predict deep conjectures in geometry and topology. With “ReNewQuantum”, we will reverse the stream and apply very advanced geometric and topological techniques to build a new approach to Quantum Theory, says Jørgen Ellegaard Andersen and adds:

“This is of course a grand endeavor and it will surely take the full synergetic strength of the four PI’s and the associated research teams”.

A superb team
The four PI’s involved in the grant are Jørgen Ellegaard Andersen (lead PI, QGM, Aarhus University), Marcos Mariño (University of Geneva), Maxim Kontsevich (IHES) and Bertrand Eynard (Institut de Physique Théorique).

According to the ERC reviewers and the review panel, it is a splendid team.

“The PIs leading the project are world class scientists in Mathematical Physics, who together constitute a synergic team with the highest potential”, concludes the review panel.  

The twelve reviewers all rated the proposal with the highest rating possible, “Outstanding”. Here is a small selection of the comments:

  • “This is a superb team. It is hard to imagine a stronger one”.
  • “It is difficult to imagine a better suited ensemble of researchers for the proposed project”.
  • “Each PI has had and continues to have brilliant achievements. They have the bold imagination, and the deep understanding of the state of the art, to combine their diverse skills to achieve something of the highest scientific importance”.

The four principal investigators are honored by the fine words from the reviewers and eager to get started:

“We are very excited and cannot wait to begin the project. With “ReNewQuantum”, our proposed transformational research is as first mover, to employ advanced geometric and topological tools in order to include all non-perturbative contributions. Even though they are typically exponentially small, they are still absolutely essential in order to get exact results and further, they can provide better numerical approximations in many cases”, says Jørgen Ellegaard Andersen.

About Jørgen Ellegaard Andersen and QGM
Jørgen Ellegaard Andersen is professor and director of Centre for Quantum of Moduli Spaces (QGM), Department of Mathematics, Aarhus University. QGM was established in 2009 as a Center of Excellence funded by the Danish National Research Foundation (DNRF). The research objective is to address fundamental mathematical problems at the interface between geometry and theoretical physics. QGM hosts a strong team of high profile, internationally acclaimed researchers, and with the continuous generation of groundbreaking results, the Centre together with its international collaborators are recognized throughout the mathematics community worldwide as one of the leading research institutions in its research field. 

Email: andersen@qgm.au.dk
Mobile: +45 6020 2795

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