Large ERC Synergy Grant to head of center Jørgen Ellegaard Andersen
The European Research Council (ERC) has just awarded an ERC Synergy Grant of 10 million euro to the research project Recursive and Exact New Quantum Theory (ReNewQuantum). Head of the DNRF center QGM, Jørgen Ellegaard Andersen will be primary principal investigator on the project, with Aarhus University as host institution. This is the first time since 2013 that the ERC has awarded Synergy Grants.
On October 23, the European Research Council (ERC) announced the winning recipients of the prestigious ERC Synergy Grants of up to 10 million euro, equivalent to DKK 74.6 million. This type of grant is given to groups of two to four researchers who can bring together their complementary skills, knowledge, and resources to jointly address research questions at the frontiers of knowledge.
One of the projects receiving 10 million euro is ReNewQuantum, and the project’s primary principal investigator (PI) will be Professor Jørgen Ellegaard Andersen, head of the DNRF’s Center for Quantum Geometry of Moduli Spaces (QGM) at Aarhus University. The same university will be the ERC-funded research project’s host institution.
The project is based on quantum theory, which is also the overall focus of QGM. Whereas QGM has successfully focused on specific quantum theories and worked on models for quantum field theories, ReNewQuantum will be working on quantum theory from a more general perspective and focus on using a whole new approach to the area.
“It is a fantastic opportunity to solely concentrate on this fascinating area between mathematics and physics for a sustained period of time,” said Andersen.
He explained that although quantum mechanics has a sound mathematical foundation, such an underpinning is still lacking for quantum field theory, certainly for theories as complex as the standard model of elementary particle physics and also for string theory, which is the current best candidate for quantum gravity.
The project’s three remaining PIs are Marcos Mariño from the University of Geneva, Maxim Kontsevich from IHES, and Bertrand Eynard from Institut de Physique Théorique.
The review panel described the team as world-class scientists in mathematical physics that, together, form a synergetic team with enormous potential. The reviewers added that it is hard to imagine a team better suited to the proposed project.
It is the first time since 2013 that the ERC has awarded the coveted Synergy Grants. A total of 9 percent of the submitted projects recieved funding. In addition, this is the first time Aarhus University is involved in an ERC Synergy Grant, and the first time that a Synergy Grant has been awarded to a purely mathemathical/theoretical physics project.