“Preparing the application for the ERC grant was an opportunity to rethink the path my research is taking and to reshape it in a more meaningful way. The true challenge is now to set up a team and realize that dream”. This is how SISSA professor Francesco Benini comments on the just-announced ERC funding of his project “Non-perturbative dynamics of quantum fields: from new deconfined phases of matter to quantum black holes”.
The European Research Council has just presented the winners of its latest Consolidator Grant competition: 301 top scientists and scholars across Europe. Funding for these researchers, part of the Horizon 2020 research and innovation program, is worth in total €600 million.
“The project “Non-perturbative dynamics of quantum fields: from new deconfined phases of matter to quantum black holes” will tackle the problem of strong interactions: an intrinsic complexity of quantum systems, across-the-board, that makes them extremely hard to study.” Benini explains: “Through the development of new theoretical tools, we will be able to understand very diverse phenomena: from the unusual type of symmetries that the microscopic quantum world can exhibit, to exotic states of matter such as topological superconductors, to the quantum properties of black holes and their entropy in quantum gravity.”
The grant is worth almost 1.6 million Euros. "It will support three postdocs and three Ph.D. students, for a duration of 5 years" Benini says. Francesco Benini got a degree in Physics at Scuola Normale Superiore and a Ph.D. from SISSA in 2008. He was a postdoctoral researcher in Princeton, Stony Brook, Amsterdam, and London. After a year as Junior Visiting Faculty at the IAS in Princeton, he joined SISSA in 2016. Benini is now Associate Professor in Theoretical Particle Physics.
Immagine: Ute Kraus, Physics education group Kraus, Universität Hildesheim, Space Time Travel (background image of the milky way: Axel Mellinger)