Physicist awarded grant as part of Simons Collaboration on Categorical Symmetries

June 24, 2021

Clay Córdova, Neubauer Family Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Chicago, has been awarded a Simons Foundation grant as part of the Simons Collaboration on Categorical Symmetries.

The collaboration, directed by Constantin Teleman of the University of California, Berkeley, is supported under the Simons Collaborations in Mathematics and Physical Sciences program, which aims to "stimulate progress on fundamental scientific questions of major importance in mathematics, theoretical physics and theoretical computer science."

Along with fourteen other physicists and mathematicians from twelve other institutions, Córdova will study symmetry in quantum field theory. Symmetry is a powerful tool for organizing physical phenomena and understanding the laws of nature. The notion of symmetry, however, has evolved dramatically since the emergence of groups and representations as the language for describing symmetries in geometry and mechanics. Galvanized most recently by advances in mathematics and physics, much of this evolution has been driven by the quest to achieve a deeper understanding of quantum field theory—the universal language of modern theoretical physics. The collaboration grows out of the synergy between the symmetry and topology areas of physics and mathematics, weaving together cutting-edge developments.

The Simons Foundation will support this effort by providing a grant of $8M for four years, renewable for 3 additional years.

Córdova holds a PhD in physics from Harvard University. Prior to coming to UChicago, he was a Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows and a Long-term member at the Institute of Advanced Study.