Large Grants
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Previous Programs

2018 Agency in the Physical World
Awardees; RFP download

2016 Physics of the Observer
Awardees; RFP download

2015 The Physics of What Happens
Awardees; RFP download

2013 Physics of Information
Awardees; RFP download

2010 The Nature of Time
Awardees; RFP download

2008 Foundational Questions in Physics and Cosmology
Awardees; RFP download

2006 Foundational Questions in Physics and Cosmology
Awardees; RFP download

Dr. John F. Donoghue
University of Massachusetts

Project Title

Emergent Gauge Symmetry

Project Summary

In our theories of the fundamental interactions, symmetries are often used to help define the nature of the theory. In searching for new theories, most investigators expect that the new theory will have more symmetry than we see visible at ordinary energies. This sometimes makes the theory simpler or more beautiful. However, the link from such a simple theory to our complicated world must then also be complicated. The present project explores the possibility that the fundamental theory has very little symmetry. In this case, the symmetry that we do see at ordinary energies must emerge dynamically from the less symmetric starting point. There are suggestions that this emergence can in fact occur and the point of the present project is to build on these possibilities to construct a complete theory of the fundamental interactions in which the basic interactions emerge dynamically.

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