Prof. Benjamin Svetitsky leads a group that applies the methods of lattice gauge theory to models that have been proposed to explain the Standard Model and the Higgs particle without postulating fundamental scalar fields. These are gauge theories defined at energy scales well beyond that of the Standard Model. They typically predict new particles that can be seen at or just beyond the limits of the Large Hadron Collider. As gauge theories, they are amenable to numerical simulation with the lattice techniques previously applied to quantum chromodynamics. Their low-energy properties are described by effective field theories, much like the chiral theory that describes low-energy QCD.
Research achievements include: (1) The first calculation of the beta function and the mass anomalous dimension in a variety of gauge theories proposed as walking technicolor models. This led to the elimination of these theories through their inability to generate physical quark masses. (2) The first numerical study of a model of a composite Higgs boson and a partially composite top quark. An extensive survey of its spectrum gave a number of predictions for new particles, but the small size of a matrix element of the baryon current calls into question the partial-compositeness mechanism. (3) The construction of effective field theories that describe chiral dynamics and a light dilaton that can appear in technicolor models. This is essential for interpreting lattice results in the surviving models of this type.