Annual Report 2022
The Theory Division (led by R. Escribano) is working on the most intriguing questions in fundamental physics. It is formed by 10 professors, 9 postdocs and 10 PhD students, and is organized in three main lines.
Standard Model Physics and Flavor Physics, led by J. Matias, mostly working on non-perturbative aspects of QCD, quarkonium physics, and heavy flavor physics: rare B meson decays and CP violation. Recent highlights include the work on the theoretical framework underpinning the so-called B-flavor anomalies, a new hyper-asymptotic approximation to the operator product expansion, and the precise determination of the strong coupling constant below the charm threshold.
Beyond the Standard Model Physics, led by A. Pomarol, working on the most intriguing questions in particle physics: the origin of the flatness and largeness of the Universe, the origin of baryons and dark matter, the smallness of the Higgs mass (the hierarchy problem), or the smallness of the theta-term (the strong CP problem). The group has presented several novel theoretical scenarios addressing these questions motivating many experimental searches. They are also known for their work on more theoretical aspects, like the use of AdS/CFT correspondence and started working on Amplitude Methods to simplify the renormalization of Effective Field Theories.
Astroparticle Physics and Cosmology, led by O. Pujolàs, working on dark energy, dark matter models, baryogenesis, gravitational-wave physics and on the applications of the gauge/gravity duality to condensed matter physics. Group members have made important contributions to scenarios where gravity is modified at large distances and to Lorentz-violating scenarios of quantum gravity. The group has an extended research record on axion physics. More recently, it is contributing to primordial black hole physics, ultra-light dark matter scenarios and gravitational waves. Recent hirings of the Division: D. Blas, Beatriz Galindo Distinguished Researcher is a broad expert in cosmology and gravitation (awarded the Buchalter prize in 2022), P. Masjuan, a specialist in QCD at low energies, A. Wulzer, a new ICREA Research Professor is a renowned expert in collider physics; Fabrizio Rompineve, a new RyC fellow is a well-known expert in physics beyond the Standard Model (BSM); and Clara Murgui, a Beatriz Galindo Junior researcher starting at IFAE in 2024 is a young outstanding female researcher in BSM and cosmology.