Michael Waterbury completed his PhD in Physics at the University of California, Irvine. In quantum field theory (QFT), the prevailing framework, called perturbative analysis, has had great success in modeling the fundamental interactions of particle physics and condensed matter physics, yet the theory remains incomplete for understanding physics. In strongly coupled theories (where the interactions between different particles are intense), the lack of analytic control causes perturbation theory to break down. For this reason, in Dr. Waterbury’s PhD research he investigated the nonperturbative dynamics generated by instantons in supersymmetric quantum field theories in three and four dimensions.
For his postdoctoral research in the physics department at Technion–Israel Institute of Technology, Dr. Waterbury continues studying nonperturbative QFT, as well as particle phenomenology, using new techniques such as generalized symmetries and amplitudes, and applying these techniques to models for particle physics. He hopes that refining the analysis of observables beyond the Standard Model (scientists’ current best theory to describe the basic building blocks of the universe) could lead to new models that could be studied in the near future at facilities dedicated to gravitational wave astronomy or the field of forward physics.
As a graduate student, Dr. Waterbury organized both Particle Theory and Quantum Computing reading groups, encouraging other young researchers to study quantum field theory, and including them in experimental particle physics labs or condensed matter theory groups. Topics included exact results in supersymmetry, on-shell scattering amplitudes, differential geometry, and group theory. He believes that frequent discussions and meetings foster an enjoyable and productive research environment, and he hopes to continue bringing people together to study theoretical physics.