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Particle Theory Grants update

Particle Theory Grants update

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Particle Theory Grants update

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  1. Particle Theory Grants update Mike Seymour University of Manchester Chair of Particle Physics Grants Panel (Theory)

  2. Particle Physics Grants Panel (Theory) • Mike Seymour (Manchester) (theory chair) • Silvia Pascoli (IPPP Durham) (theory core) • Luigi Del Debbio (Edinburgh) • Simon Hands (Swansea) • Mark Hindmarsh (Sussex) • Neil Lambert (Kings College and CERN) • David Tong (DAMTP Cambridge) • Joel Goldstein (Bristol) (experiment chair) • Gavin Davies (Imperial) (expeiment core) UK Annual Theory meeting December 18th 2010, Durham

  3. Theory status and prospects • The UK community • 170 (?) academics in 20 university groups • plus Institute for Particle Physics Phenomenology, EPSRC-funded string/QFT posts in Maths depts, astro-particle theorists • Ancient History • RG round 2008 • History • Special Programme Grants round 2010 • Future • Consolidate Grants round 2011 UK Annual Theory meeting December 18th 2010, Durham

  4. The UK Theory Community • is world leading in (e.g.) • lattice • UKQCD and phenomenology • formal developments • string theory and QFT • AdS/CFT correspondence (Integrability, Applications) • QFT (Supersymmetry, Scattering Amplitudes, Solitons) • String Theory (Phenomenology for particle physics and cosmology, M-Theory, techniques for field theory calculations) • cosmology • particle cosmology (inflation, dark energy, CMB, dark matter…) • computational cosmology, structure and galaxy formation • phenomenology • QCD, Monte Carlo, parton distribution functions, B physics • BSM model building, data exploitation UK Annual Theory meeting December 18th 2010, Durham

  5. Strong connection with experiment: • calculations • tools • analysis strategies • interpretation • Model building: • SUSY/extra dims • topology/structure • Formal theory: • strings/branes • quantum gravity • duality UK Annual Theory meeting December 18th 2010, Durham

  6. The UK Theory Community • has a proven high impact on public perception of science, and the choice of school-leavers to study physics • Second international review of UK Research in Physics and Astronomy (2005): • “Particle theory in the UK is healthy, with a revitalised effort in particle phenomenology, a burgeoning contribution to the physics that might lie beyond the Standard Model, a strong and vital group of lattice theorists and continuing strength in string theory and general relativity.” • “There are signs that this position is under threat.” • “It is the Panel’s perception that there are fewer theorists in UK physics and astronomy departments than is the international norm.” UK Annual Theory meeting December 18th 2010, Durham

  7. The UK Theory Community • is growing: • 2005 RG applications: 122 academics • 2008 RG applications: 155 academics (+27%) • 19 research groups • 2011? • +10% growth: 170 academics? • at least 1 new group + several significant expansions UK Annual Theory meeting December 18th 2010, Durham

  8. Ancient History • 2008 RG given base line of 25% cut • would have resulted in ~50% cut in number of RAs • after extensive discussion with PPAN, additional funds for years 1–3 of the roll • but still corresponds to 25% cut for years 4–5 • and leaves several excellent groups with no funds • aspirations for 1–2 SPG rounds with 4–6 RAs npostdocs • gave average of 20% FEC to ~90% of academics using half of budget UK Annual Theory meeting December 18th 2010, Durham

  9. Ancient History UK Annual Theory meeting December 18th 2010, Durham

  10. History – 2009 SPG round • announced August, closing date Sept. 30th • expected to award 4 RA positions • 25 applications • refereeing had already started when… • prioritization exercise cut budget by 10% • barely enough for 1 RA position! • after two months’ discussion, agreed to go ahead • outcome announced June 4th UK Annual Theory meeting December 18th 2010, Durham

  11. Physics Highlights • Connecting LHCb to theories of the weak scale • Sebastian Jaeger, Sussex • Novel techniques for simulating lattice field theories with a sign problem • Gert Aarts, Swansea • Hidden Structures in Gauge Theory and Gravity • Andi Brandhuber, Queen Mary • Soft Physics for Parton Showers • Mike Seymour, Manchester UK Annual Theory meeting December 18th 2010, Durham

  12. Gert Aarts, Swansea Sign problem in QCD at finite baryon density Phase diagram: neutron stars, quark matter, colorsuperconductivity, triple and critical endpoints, ... Complex action: importance sampling in lattice QCD fails Novel techniques for simulating lattice field theories with a sign problem UK Annual Theory meeting December 18th 2010, Durham

  13. Complex Langevin dynamics can evade the sign problem Successfully tested in heavy dense QCD and other models Example: weakly interacting relativistic Bose gas mu-independent below onset, nonzero density above onset density when the complexity is ignored, amenable to standard algorithms incorrect result : unphysical mu-dependence below onset! Novel techniques for simulating lattice field theories with a sign problem unfunded UK Annual Theory meeting December 18th 2010, Durham

  14. Hidden Structures in Gauge Theory and GravitySummary of STFC SPG Proposal: Andi Brandhuber (PI), Bill Spence and Gabriele Travaglini • Recent (r)evolution in our understanding of S-matrix (Amplitudes) in field theories at weak and strong coupling • Novel ideas/insights, e.g. • Impressive progress in higher-loop/strong coupling amplitude calculation • Very general & efficient methods (e.g. on-shell recursion relations & generalised unitarity). Vast applicability, also in phenomenologically relevant theories in particular QCD ! Simplicity of gluon amplitudes (e.g. MHV, Parke-Taylor) explained by simple geometry in Penrose’s Twistor Space Scattering amplitudes calculated by simple polygonal Wilson loops

  15. Main Goals of the proposal • Explore & explain new, hidden structures in scattering amplitudes such as new symmetries & integrability; use these results to determine loop amplitudes without doing loops! • Duality between amplitudes and lightlike Wilson loops: proof; higher loops; extensions to general amplitudes, theories with less or no supersymmetry • N=8 supergravity: investigate possible finiteness and similarity with N=4 super-Yang-Mills • Overarching goal: all of these novel structures point at complete reformulation of QFT, in particular avoiding Feynman diagrams altogether! unfunded

  16. MHS et al, Manchester Most measurements and searches at LHC rely on parton showers e.g. extraction of WWH and ttH couplings from VBF and GF using colour structure recent years: huge progress in hard corrections to parton showers we identified wide range of observables for which a wide range of soft corrections will be dominant uncertainty Soft Physics for Parton Showers UK Annual Theory meeting December 18th 2010, Durham

  17. MHS et al, Manchester parton shower algorithm with sub-leading colour, and non-probabilistic parton evolution dynamically-generated diffraction model the perturbative/non-perturbative interface underlying events and colour reconnection Soft Physics for Parton Showers unfunded UK Annual Theory meeting December 18th 2010, Durham

  18. Future Prospects • Compared to 2005… • community is ~40% bigger • budget has been cut by 25% then 10% (~33%) • could leave us with 1 postdoc per ~7.5 academics! • assuming flat cash • But, we are a strong community doing world-leading work, crucial for LHC exploitation, understanding early universe, deep structure of matter • Despite bleak overall financial situation, need to be campaigning for uplift UK Annual Theory meeting December 18th 2010, Durham

  19. npostdocs (2011/12 onwards assumes post-proritization planning line and that we continue to pay 20% FEC to 90% of the community) UK Annual Theory meeting December 18th 2010, Durham

  20. Future Prospects • Also need a Plan B… • Reconsider the way we fund PP theory? • Consolidated Grants mechanism offers several improvements • Flexibility • Three years funds over four years • Smoothing of lower threshold • FeC+non-staff grants • Consortia • Emphasis on funding scientific areas rather than groups • Timing of future rounds fixed to postdoc cycle • Announce grants for October 2014 by October 2013 UK Annual Theory meeting December 18th 2010, Durham

  21. Future Prospects • Also need a Plan B… • Reconsider the way we fund PP theory? • Consolidated Grants mechanism offers several improvements • But… • No roll UK Annual Theory meeting December 18th 2010, Durham

  22. PP Theory Grants Round 2011 Closing date 2 February 2011 Guidance notes on STFC website http://www.stfc.ac.uk/Our%20Research/4653.aspx Following STFC Council’s approval of the Grant Funding Mechanism Review Panel’s report in November, grants to be awarded under new consolidated grants scheme Details of the implementation of the new grants scheme currently being formalised Timing of applications for future rounds will be discussed with PPGP (to allow for PP Theory recruitment cycle) UK Annual Theory meeting December 18th 2010, Durham

  23. Consolidated Grants Key changes to previous rounds: • Each university department can submit one proposal per subject area every 3 years (PP Theory and PP Experiment are separate subject areas) • Replaces all other grant schemes for exploitation/theory (no separate Visiting Researcher grants or SPG rounds in future) although specific calls for proposals may be held where required • Grants will be awarded for up to 4 years • Three staff types: academic, core, non-core • Groups in the same well-defined research area can apply as a consortium UK Annual Theory meeting December 18th 2010, Durham

  24. Core Posts Underpinning support not contingent on the specific details of the group’s future programme e.g. engineers, technicians, computing support, experiment m&o, experimental development and construction Not expected to represent a high proportion of the non-academic total grant costs Anticipate that very few PP Theory grants will have core posts UK Annual Theory meeting December 18th 2010, Durham

  25. Grant Structure Non-core posts normally awarded for max. 3 years but with flexibility to spend over 4 Core posts awarded for up to 4 years on first grant. Subsequent grants – 3 years starting in second year Academics – in line with core staff if grant has core staff, if no core staff in line with non-core staff Non-staff costs – request to reflect duration of posts being requested UK Annual Theory meeting December 18th 2010, Durham

  26. Consortia Groups from different institutions working collaboratively in same well-defined research area can apply as consortium Opportunity to bid for shared resources that might not be able to secure on their own (e.g. due to size) Option – one JeS form per institute or one JeS form for whole consortium Individuals can only be on one consolidated grant, so if on consortium bid cannot be on department bid in same subject area UK Annual Theory meeting December 18th 2010, Durham

  27. Summary • UK theory community is world-leading in string theory, QFT, lattice, cosmology and phenomenology • Has grown by ~40% over 5 years through considerable university investment • while budget has reduced by ~33% • Is bubbling with ideas and eager to develop them • Is facing a brutal grants round UK Annual Theory meeting December 18th 2010, Durham

  28. …page limits… • 2008: proponents, panel and referees complained that proposals were too long • 2011: simplified application, less duplication, slightly shorter report and proposal sections • “but I haven’t got enough room to describe every piece of work by every member of my group” • Exactly! • Maybe better to focus on (a) most important work, (b) explaining why it’s important • All applications are in the same situation UK Annual Theory meeting December 18th 2010, Durham

  29. …scientific areas… • Scientific areas should be broad enough that they enable groups to consider appointing postdoctoral researchers from a sufficiently broad area to be able to attract the best available candidates and to allow them to set their own research programme within that area. However, they should be narrow enough that the Panel can assess the likely impact of the group in that area and to differentiate the different areas of a group's activities. • As a rough guide, one might imagine that a scientific area should be of a sufficient size to cover the whole of particle theory in 8-15 areas. • (Smaller groups) • We would not expect even the largest groups to present their proposed work under the headings of more than three or four scientific areas. • (Larger groups) UK Annual Theory meeting December 18th 2010, Durham

  30. …academic time… • Academics should bid for the amount of their time they expect to spend on this scientific area, taking into account other commitments. • Let Panel worry about how much of that time they can afford UK Annual Theory meeting December 18th 2010, Durham

  31. …consortia… • What kind of consortia do the panel have in mind? • Any that allow the UK to do more, better science for the same amount of money v. Where work on the scientific area is proposed as part of a consortium of university groups, the relationship between the groups and added value of funding the area as a consortium should be explained. UK Annual Theory meeting December 18th 2010, Durham