Jun 20 – 22, 2018
Niels Bohr Institute
Europe/Copenhagen timezone


This thematic workshop looks to pose the question: can symmetries that we ordinarily take to be fundamental in fact be emergent? The entire edifice of particle physics is built upon the fact that symmetries are taken to be the organizing principle upon which we write down consistent interactions between particles, themselves representations of these symmetries. But what if spacetime symmetries (such as Lorentz invariance) or gauge symmetries only emerge in the infra-red? Various approaches to quantizing gravity suggest that this might indeed be the case. Moreover, there are examples from particle physics and condensed matter physics where certain gauge degrees of freedom emerge and gauge symmetries appear only at infra-red fixed points of the theory, suggesting them to be emergent phenomena common to particular universality classes of theories.

The aim of the workshop will to have a cross disciplinary discussion about how symmetries can be emergent, and to seed the possibility that particle physics can yet again draw inspiration from condensed matter theory. Talks will be by invitation only and will span relevant topics in theoretical particle physics, cosmology and condensed matter. There will be three to four plenary talks each day followed by a thematic discussion in the afternoon.

Scientific organization committee: Diego Blas, Niels Obers, Subodh Patil, Mark Rudner


Ajit C Balram (NBIA)
Jan de Boer (Amsterdam)
Michele Burrello (NBIA)
Raúl Carballo-Rubio (SISSA)

Netta Engelhardt (Princeton)
Kevin Grosvenor (NBI)
Jelle Hartong (Edinburgh)
Igor Herbut (Simon Fraser)
Carlos Hoyos (Oveido)
Sung-Sik Lee (Perimeter/McMaster)
Roderich Moessner (MPIPKS Dresden)
Marika Taylor (Southampton)

John Toner (Oregon)

Registration will be limited to approximately 30 paricipants. 

This workshop has been made possible with the generous support of the Foundational Questions Institute (FQXi) and the Niels Bohr Foundation.

Niels Bohr Institute
Auditorium D
Blegdamsvej 17 DK-2100 Copenhagen