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Thomas Aaby Ryttov

Associate Professor

Phone: +45 6550 2297
Webpage: SDU research portal

In my research, I strive to understand the most fundamental theories that describe our universe and its smallest building blocks. The very basic framework we use is called quantum field theory, and in many ways, it is the inevitable result if you take quantum mechanics and Einstein's special relativity and unite them.

The smallest building blocks we have observed so far in major accelerator attempts around the world are called the elementary particles. These include a lot of exotic species such as quarks, leptons, electroweak vector bosons, gluons and the photon. The quantum field theory, which describes their interactions, is called the Standard Model and is a tremendously sophisticated theory. However, there are a number of marvelous phenomena that we still need to fully understand.

In general, quantum field theories come in many different disguises and can contain many different characteristics. One can imagine fundamental theories in several dimensions, have different particle content, have different symmetries, etc., and it typically takes a lot of skill and good mathematical sense to be able to handle them. At times it actually requires the world's largest supercomputers to understand them. Before this is achieved we cannot gain an understanding of their potential as a fundamental theory for the universe and all its many unresolved puzzles. In this way my research is about understanding the universe at the most basic level.