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The European Research Council (ERC) has awarded a Starting Grant to Wouter Waalewijn (Delta Institute for Theoretical Physics) and Philippe Corboz (Institute of Physics, Amsterdam).

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A Starting Grant is a personal grant of about 1.5 million euros and provides research support to talented researchers for a period of five years. Wouter Waalewijn is a theoretical particle physicist at the Delta Institute for Theoretical Physics; Philippe Corboz is a theoretical condensed matter physicist, and works at the Institute of Physics (IOP), University of Amsterdam.

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Dr Wouter Waalewijn (Institute of Physics, IoP, Delta Institute for Theoretical Physics) 

MULTISCALE: Precision Multi-Scale Predictions for the LHC: Higgs, Jets and Supersymmetry.

This proposal aims to greatly improve the theoretical description of collisions at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). To find a faint new physics signal, precise predictions as well as aggressive experimental search techniques are needed. Dr. Waalewijn will develop the theoretical framework that reconciles these competing demands.

The LHC is leading the search for new physics at extremely short distances (<10 -18 m) and was instrumental in the discovery of the Higgs boson. One of its central goals is to measure the Higgs properties more precisely, as this could be the key to unlocking new physics.

In earlier work, Dr. Waalewijn pioneered an improved approach to model the effect of the 'jet veto'. This experimental technique was crucial to find the Higgs needle in the LHC haystack, but dominated the uncertainty due to the effects of the strong nuclear force. His new proposal considers the combined effect of experimental techniques on theoretical predictions, requiring a more precise and detailed description of the collision than is currently possible. He recently demonstrated its feasibility in a prototypical example.

The most important application of his proposal will be the search for new physics in Higgs properties. It will also make novel experimental 'jet substructure' techniques more robust, paving the way for more discoveries.

Philippe Corboz (IoP)

Dr Philippe Corboz (Institute of Physics, IoP) 

Accurate Simulations of Strongly Correlated Systems with Tensor Network Methods.

One of the key challenges in condensed matter physics is to understand the remarkable phenomena emerging in systems of strongly interacting electrons. Examples include high-temperature superconductivity, which is still one of the biggest unsolved problems, or exotic states of matter with topological order (quantum spin liquids).

Philippe Corboz will develop and apply novel computational tools based on ideas from quantum information theory, so-called tensor network methods, to shed new light on the physics of these systems. More particularly, he will focus on gaining a quantitative understanding of the phases in high-temperature superconductors and in materials with ‘frustrated’ interactions.