Particle, fields, strings, and cosmology

Particle physics is devoted to the study and understanding of the fundamental blocks of matter, the elementary particles, and their interactions. One of the greatest achievements of the last century was the construction of a theory, the so-called Standard Model, that correctly describes the strong and electroweak interactions among fermions and gauge bosons. The Standard Model has known a tremendous experimental success, culminating with the discovery of the Higgs boson in 2012. However, many questions remain to be solved in this field which seemingly needs physics beyond the Standard Model. The reconciliation into a unified framework of the laws of quantum physics with Einstein's theory of gravity represents a Holy Grail in theoretical physics. Over the past 40 years, string theory has emerged as our leading candidate for such a unified description of Nature. This theory posits that all particles and force mediators, including the mediators of gravity, be different harmonics of tiny vibrating strings, much in the way the different harmonics of a guitar string correspond to different musical notes. It is yet to be seen whether string theory can indeed provide us with a complete description of our Universe, but it has already borne important fruit. Cosmology is the study of the Universe: what are its origins, how it expanded and evolved, and what are the properties of the large-scale structures that we see today? High-precision measurements of the cosmic microwave background, of the rate of expansion through observations of supernovas, as well as galaxy surveys, indicate that we live in an Universe where visible matter (atoms and light) are only a small piece of the puzzle. In fact, the Universe today seems to be dominated by dark energy, a mysterious component which causes the Universe to expand at an accelerated rate. In addition, all observations point to the existence of something called dark matter, a dark component five times more abundant than atoms, which contributes significantly to the mass of galaxies and other gravitationally bound structures. Elementary particle experiments, or high energy particle physics experiments, are carried out at large international laboratories through international collaboration. Our faculty members participate in ongoing collaboration at the Relativistic Heavy-Ion Collider (RHIC), Brookhaven, and at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), CERN, Geneva.

Elementary particle physics
Enrico Bertuzzo
Gustavo Alberto Burdman
Oscar José Eboli
Renata Zukanovich Funchal
Quantum theory of fields
Adilson José da Silva
Diego Trancanelli
Fernando Tadeu Caldeira Brandt
Jorge José Leite Noronha Junior
Jorge Lacerda de Lyra
Josif Frenkel
Marcelo Otávio Caminha Gomes
Paulo Teotônio Sobrinho
Victor de Oliveira Rivelles
Relativistic quantum theory
Dmitri Maximovitch Gitman
Cosmology, gravitation and astrophysics
Elcio Abdalla
Luis Raul Weber Abramo
Marcos Vinicius Borges Teixeira Lima
High energy physics
Airton Deppman
Alessio Mangiarotti
Alexandre Alarcon do Passo Suaide
Emi Márcia Takagui
Ivone Freire da Mota e Albuquerque
Marcelo Gameiro Munhoz
Marco Bregant
Nelson Carlin
Olácio Dietzsch
Renata Zukanovich Funchal