Slava Rychkov is a permanent professor at IHES since October 1st, 2017.
He was born in Russia in 1975. He studied mathematics at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology and obtained his PhD from Princeton University in 2002. He then worked as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Amsterdam and at Scuola Normale di Pisa, in Italy.
He became Assistant Professor at the Scuola Normale in Pisa and then, in 2009, he became Professor at Université Pierre et Marie Curie. He joined the theoretical physics group at CERN in 2012 and in 2016 he started working at the École normale supérieure in Paris, as a professor.
“I was a double major at my university in Moscow. It just so happened I started doing research in pure mathematics, then much later I got the chance to try theoretical physics. I found I had all the fun I had in math, but in addition you have a feeling you’re really studying the fundamental questions of nature.” Rychkov says.
In Amsterdam Rychkov worked to understand whether high energy collisions of elementary particles might produce mini-black holes. But it is particularly during his post-doc in Pisa that he started getting interested in problems motivated by experiments, such as the Large Hadron Collider which was then nearing completion at CERN near Geneva. For some time he worked on the Electroweak Symmetry Breaking – notably Supersymmetry and composite Higgs boson models, which try to move beyond the Standard Model.
It is mainly in the fields of Quantum and Conformal Field Theory that he obtained his most decisive and surprising results, developing analytical and numerical techniques for solving strongly coupled theories. His studies have strong links with Statistical and Condensed Matter Theory.
His preferred approach to research is based on collaboration: “You have to be in the same room for ideas to sparkle, – he claims, and he will naturally fit in the IHES community, whose daily life develops around interdisciplinary exchanges. Common research interests have already been at the heart of rich discussions with Hugo Duminil-Copin (probabilist) and Maxim Kontsevich (mathematician).
Prizes and distinctions
Slava Rychkov obtained the New Horizons in Physics Prize in 2014 “For developing new techniques in conformal field theory, reviving the conformal bootstrap program for constraining the spectrum of operators and the structure constants in 3D and 4D CFT’s.” This Prize, assigned by the Breakthrough Foundation, is awarded to promising junior researchers who have already produced important work. He was also elected Junior Member of the Institut Universitaire de France in 2012.
IHES is very happy to welcome him among its permanent professors.