2022 SUMMER PROGRAM

APPLY NOW
Deadline for Applications is January 31
* organizer responsible for participant diversity
** scientific advisor

Click Here to View the Summer Poster


May 29 - September 18
Individual Research

Physicists are encouraged to apply as individual researchers to work on their own projects for up to five weeks at any time during the summer. We provide a serene atmosphere to complete work. The individual researcher may also choose to attend any workshop meetings or chat with other scientists in residence in addition to working on his or her own research. Click here for more information.


May 29 - September 18
Working Group

Working groups of between two and six physicists are encouraged. Click here for more information.


May 29 - June 19
Interplay of Fundamental Physics and Machine Learning


Organizers:
Ann Lee, Carnegie Mellon University
Konstantin Matchev,
University of Florida
Harrison Prosper,
Florida State University
*Jesse Thaler,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The deep learning revolution has demonstrated the power of AI to impact society, including how physicists conduct ground-breaking research.  Deep learning models and associated training algorithms have found numerous applications in fundamental physics, especially in the analysis of data at collider and neutrino experiments. Yet, off-the-shelf AI tools are not always well matched to physics applications. Not only do physics data sets have special structures and symmetries that must be preserved, but most physics analyses require stringent uncertainty estimation, robustness, and verifiability that go beyond what is currently available within the standard deep learning toolkit. Therefore, the time is ripe to fuse advances in deep learning with the time-tested strategies of “deep thinking” in the physical sciences.

This workshop will bring together theoretical physicists, experimental physicists, AI practitioners, and statisticians to discuss the dynamic interplay of fundamental physics and machine learning (ML). The workshop has two complementary goals: (1) to identify and promote the use of the newest ML technologies to tackle some of the most challenging problems in high-energy physics, from precision calculations of particle interactions to the extraction of new physics from noisy data; and (2) to advance AI more broadly through the development of novel approaches that incorporate first principles, best practices, and domain knowledge from fundamental physics. The workshop will primarily focus on high-energy physics topics. However, we note that similar problems and challenges (e.g., verification and interpretability of ML solutions) arise in the development and deployment of ML methods in many related fields.

May 29 - June 19
Large-Scale Structure Cosmology beyond 2-Point Statistics


Organizers:
Donghui Jeong, Pennsylvania State University
Elisabeth Krause,
University of Arizona
Hiranya Peiris,
University College London
*Fabian Schmidt,
Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics

Progress in cosmology has always been characterized by a close interplay between theoretical predictions and observational data. This connection has so far largely played out at the level of simple summary statistics, such as the two-point correlation function or power spectrum. However, how do we extract the substantial additional cosmological information in statistics beyond the power spectrum robustly and efficiently? By bringing together theorists, observers, and data scientists, this workshop aims to make progress on (i) determining the most promising observables and probes; (ii) identifying key challenges in mapping theory to observables; (iii) making the theory-data confrontation robust against observational systematics. Concrete collaboration during the course of the workshop will be based on a data challenge that will allow all participants to test their theoretical models and analysis/inference pipelines.


June 5 - July 3
Fundamental Physics and Astrophysics with the Next Generation of Gravitational-Wave Detectors

Organizers:
Stephon Alexander, Brown University
Vassiliki Kalogera,
Northwestern University
*Sanjay Reddy,
University of Washington
Bangalore Sathyaprakash,
Pennsylvania State University

The planned upgrades of current gravitational-wave detectors and proposed new observatories will enable precision measurement of cosmological parameters, observation of stochastic backgrounds from the early universe,  determination of the properties of dense QCD matter, heavy-element nucleosynthesis, precise tests of the nature of gravitational interactions, and a measurement of the merger rate of compact binaries throughout cosmic history.  The new observatories would benefit a wide range of physicists, astrophysicists and cosmologists but achieving their scientific goals would require a cross-disciplinary endeavor that would benefit from extensive debate and careful planning which is the chief goal of this Aspen workshop.

June 19 - July 10
Learning Dynamical Models from Biophysical Data


Organizers:
Sarah Marzen, Claremont McKenna College
*Joshua Shaevitz,
Princeton University
Greg Stephens,
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam & OIST Graduate University
Vincenzo Vitelli, University of Chicago

This workshop will focus on learning dynamical models and equations from biophysical time series data across systems. Recent advances in experimental technologies to measure multidimensional time series data from living systems (e.g. the pose of an animal over time, the relative fractions of different genotypes in a population, the spread of COVID-19 variants worldwide, and the dynamics of neurons in the brain) have led to an explosion in the amount of data available for analysis. In parallel, new techniques in machine learning and artificial neural networks have made great strides in learning the underlying dynamical structure and equations that govern these kinds of time series. This workshop will bring together experimentalists, theorists, phenomenologists, computer scientists, and engineers to highlight recent advances and foster cross-area progress


June 19 - July 17
Programmable Quantum Matter: Many-Body Physics in the Era of Quantum Advantage


Organizers:
Sarang Gopalakrishnan, City University of New York
Adam Kaufman,
University of Colorado, JILA, NIST
Monika Schleier-Smith,
Stanford University
*Dan Stamper-Kurn,
University of California Berkeley

The study of quantum mechanical systems containing many interaction elements is nothing new: We’ve been at it since the first application of the new quantum theory to explain the properties of materials.  But what is very new – a new opportunity and a new challenge – is the ability to deeply control, measure, and even feed back to many-body systems that follow the laws of quantum mechanics at large scales of length, time, and complexity.  There is a new nexus between many-body quantum science, materials science, quantum feedback and control, full microscopy of quantum systems, and, overarching, quantum information science.  At its core, this nexus asks fundamental questions regarding the relationship between the microscopic and macroscopic properties of a quantum many-body system both in and out of equilibrium, and the role of the dimensionality, environment, and interactions in realizing emergent properties. The proposed summer program at the Aspen Center for Physics will focus on this nexus, drawing together known experts and rising stars, experimentalists and theorists, from a broad range of disciplines within physics and also beyond.


July 10 - 31
Physics and Information Capabilities of Highly Entangled Quantum Matter

Organizers:
Xie Chen, Caltech
*Michael Hermele, University of Colorado Boulder
Norbert Schuch, Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics
Graeme Smith, University of Colorado, JILA 

The idea that many-body quantum matter can serve as a resource for quantum information processing has become an important and exciting link between condensed matter physics and quantum information science, with new ideas flowing in both directions. This workshop aims to spur further progress by bringing together physicists in a variety of sub-disciplines working at the quantum matter / quantum information interface, including condensed matter theorists, quantum information theorists, and quantum field theorists. The focus will be on four inter-related sets of topics, namely:

  1. Fracton phases of matter and self-correcting quantum memories
  2. Quantum dynamics and information scrambling, and quantum error correction
  3. Measurement-based quantum computing and subsystem-symmetry protected topological phases of matter
  4. Topologically ordered phases in two and three dimensions, and their quantum information applications


July 17 - August 7
Plasmas in Strong Gravity

Organizers:
*Jason Dexter, University of Colorado Boulder
**Daryl Haggard,
McGill University
Feryal Ozel,
University of Arizona
*David Radice,
Pennsylvania State University
Lorenzo Sironi, Columbia University

The past few years have brought about remarkable progress in physics of plasmas around black holes and neutron stars from many directions. Interferometric techniques with the Event Horizon Telescope and GRAVITY have led to high-resolution near-horizon images of black holes, while LIGO has observed two neutron star mergers. In parallel, NASA’s Parker Solar Probe has been collecting data in the immediate vicinity of the sun, providing highly pertinent data on particle heating and instabilities in rarefied, highly magnetized plasmas. The pace of fluid- and kinetic-based studies of the plasma in accretion disks and in dynamical general relativistic spacetimes has dramatically increased, providing simulations with better inertial range and more predictive results. Our proposed workshop builds on these exciting recent developments for understanding plasmas around compact objects and looks further ahead to bringing diverse plasma, gravity, solar physics, and compact object astrophysics communities together to build theoretical and observational foundations of future directions. The participants in the workshop will focus on new techniques for modeling astrophysical plasmas around compact objects including ideal and non-ideal magnetohydrodynamics (MHD), particle-in-cell (PIC), and other computational techniques for the flows around single and binary compact objects, exploration of instabilities at small scales, inputs for particle heating and acceleration from the Parker Solar Probe, observational implications for EHT, multiwavelength observations, and counterparts of neutron star mergers.


July 31 - August 21
Novel States of Matter and Topological Particles in Bulk Quantum Materials


Organizers:
Efrat Shimshoni, Bar-Ilan University
Chandra M. Varma,
University of California Riverside
Ashvin Vishwanath,
Harvard University
*Amir Yacoby, Harvard University

The aim of the workshop is to bring together, to the unique atmosphere and manner of operation of the Aspen Center for Physics, the prominent experimental and theoretical leaders together with a new generation of theorists and experimentalists to discuss and evaluate the most important experimental discoveries and theories in quantum condensed matter developed in the last few years. Among the topics to be covered are manifestations of novel electronic phases, including topological and chiral superconductivity, correlated Chern insulators, spin-liquids, new species of fractional quantum Hall states, magneto-oscillatory phenomena in correlated insulators, and new states far from thermal equilibrium. The experimental advances in these frontiers have been enabled by new fabrication and characterization techniques. Powerful numerical techniques together with controlled analytical solution of simple models pertinent to the problems posed by the experiments have only offered a glimmer of the new physical principles demanded by the experiments. The workshop will help set the directions for further experimental and theoretical discoveries towards their elucidation.


August 7 - 28
Effective Field Theories: From Quarks to the Cosmos

Organizers:
*Timothy Cohen, University of Oregon
Nathaniel Craig,
University of California Santa Barbara
Yael Shadmi,
Technion-Israel Institute of Technology
Zhengkang Zhang,
California Institute of Technology

Although EFT techniques are by now ubiquitous in physics, something of an EFT renaissance has been occurring within high-energy physics in recent years, driven on the one hand by the development of new theoretical techniques, and on the other hand by the growing sensitivity of experiments at the energy, intensity, and cosmic frontiers. Measurements at the LHC, DUNE, BELLE-II, LIGO, EIC, Muon g-2, Simons Observatory, and diverse dark matter detectors -- not to mention a host of planned or proposed experiments -- will both benefit from this ongoing progress and motivate further advances. This workshop will bring together EFT experts working across the spectrum of high-energy physics to cross-pollinate new theoretical developments; connect EFT frameworks at their interfaces; and strengthen the dialogue with experimental collaborations using EFT tools in their analyses. We aim to cover a wide spectrum of applications, including EFTs for the Higgs (and LHC analyses more broadly); dark matter searches; flavor and neutrino physics; inflation and large-scale structure; gravitational waves; and classical or quantum simulation of field theories. The workshop will also highlight and facilitate progress in broadly applicable tools for EFT.

August 14 - September 4
Geometry and the Quantum


Organizers:
*Veronika Hubeny, University of California Davis
Mukund Rangamani,
University of California Davis
Stephen Shenker,
Stanford University
Mark Van Raamsdonk,
University of British Columbia

Gauge/gravity duality has taught us many interesting lessons about the dynamics of strongly coupled systems, and has provided us with many insights into the workings of quantum gravity.  Despite this remarkable progress much remains to be done, especially in understanding deep conceptual questions that underpin a non-perturbative theory of quantum gravity.  In recent years we have come to appreciate that the key to unlocking some of these secrets may lie in connections to quantum information theoretic concepts. Some of these ideas have been made quite sharp in more tractable low-dimensional settings, e.g., in the SYK model and its gravitational dual -- 2D  dilaton gravity. The aim of the workshop is to facilitate further progress in these directions. We anticipate particular focus on questions such as: the emergence of semiclassical spacetime geometry; the Page curve, islands and replica wormholes; the nature of black hole microstates;  the link between disorder averaged quantum dynamics and gravity;  and others that will certainly arise in this rapidly developing field.

August 21 - September 18
Random Geometry in Statistical Physics, Condensed Matter, and Quantum Gravity

Organizers:
Alexander Altland, University of Cologne
Nele Callebaut,
University of Cologne
*Matthew S. Foster,
Rice University
Ilya Gruzberg,
Ohio State University

The statistical physics of random geometric structures is a rich source of physical phenomena. Recent manifestations include:

  • holographic interpretations of random systems such as the SYK model,
  • measurement-driven transitions in random quantum circuits, and
  • geometric views of many-body quantum chaos.

The common feature of all these and numerous other statistical phenomena is that randomness manifests itself through geometric structures. Recent methodological advances driving these developments include novel matrix approaches to quantum gravity, random tensor networks, TTbar-deformed 2D quantum field theories, and the probabilistic formulation of fractal geometry. This workshop will bring together researchers from the statistical physics, condensed matter, and quantum gravity communities. The recent history of the SYK model has set an example for how randomness has the potential for unification across the boundaries of these fields. Yet the applications and methodological innovations sketched above indicate a far wider vista for further collaboration and development. Topics of particular mutual interest that will be addressed at this workshop include

  • SYK physics,
  • TTbar theory,
  • Liouville CFT, log-correlated random energy models, the Knizhnik, Polyakov, and Zamolodchikov formula, and
  • the structure and applications of logarithmic CFTs.

August 29 - September 18
Searching for New Physics from the Nuclear to the LHC Scale and Beyond

Organizers:
Vincenzo Cirigliano, Los Alamos National Laboratory
Andreas Crivellin,
CERN
*Stefania Gori,
University of California Santa Cruz
Martin Hoferichter,
University of Bern

In the past several years, various measurements at low and high energy colliders revealed intriguing hints for physics beyond the Standard Model. This includes flavor anomalies in B-decays, beta decays, the g-2 anomaly, and several LHC measurements. The energy scale associated with these anomalies spans a very wide range, from the nuclear scale to the multi-TeV scale. This motivates new phenomenological and theoretical investigations, and new searches at a wide range of accelerator experiments: the LHC, flavor and nuclear physics experiments, as well as fixed-target experiments. In this workshop, we aim at bringing together scientists working on nuclear, flavor, LHC, and dark matter/dark sector physics to investigate the complementary probes of New Physics motivated by the current anomalies in data. Recent developments in theoretical calculations (e.g., g - 2) will also be scrutinized. The common goal is to use probes at vastly different energy regimes, from nuclear to LHC scales and even beyond to future colliders, to unveil physics beyond the Standard Model.

September 4 - 18
Higher Symmetry and Quantum Field Theory

Organizers:
Clay Cordova, University of Chicago
*Julia Plavnik,
Indiana University
Sakura Schafer-Nameki,
University of Oxford
Constantin Teleman,
University of California Berkeley

Systematic understanding of phases of matter is a fundamental problem. Furthered by their characterization in terms of topological QFTs (TQFTs) --- the presumptive low-energy regime of gapped QFTs --- the coupling of phases to global topological symmetries is the focus of much ongoing research. This (condensed matter) physics also interfaces with high energy physics, for instance in the infrared behavior of gauge theories in low dimension. On the condensed matter side, gauge symmetries are often emergent degrees of freedom in the short lattice spacing. On the high-energy side, the infrared structure of strongly coupled QFTs is notoriously difficult to determine; new advances are needed in studying their dynamics. 

Symmetries and anomalies are among the few universally applicable tools, and developing them is a priority for both fields. A new path for their mathematical study was opened by Lurie's "cobordism hypothesis'" description of TQFTs, leading to the effective use of higher category techniques. Still, certain examples (anyons, Levin-Wen models), as well as classification work on boundary theories, show the need for generalizations of the cobordism hypothesis (with embedded defects) as an organizing principle and indicate that the full power of these methods is yet to be exploited.

We plan to bring together experts in condensed matter, quantum field theory and topology to forge new advances at the interface of these subjects, with mutually reinforcing ideas from physics and mathematics in vigorous exchange and contraposition as part of an intense workshop.