Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

About the PNAS Member Editor
Name Arkani-Hamed, Nima
Location Institute for Advanced Study
Primary Field Physics
 Election Citation
Arkani-Hamed has made wide-ranging contributions to theoretical physics ranging from proposals for new models of particle physics and cosmology to the discovery of new mathematical structures in quantum field theory. His ideas have opened several new directions of theoretical research, and have also stimulated a large variety of new experiments.
 Research Interests
My work has been driven by two of the central mysteries in fundamental physics. (1) The union of quantum mechanics and gravity suggests that the notion of spacetime is approximate and must be replaced by more primitive principles, and there are related indications of fundamental limitations to quantum mechanics in both the early and late universe. These clues hint that both space-time and quantum mechanics will come to be thought of as emerging from more basic physical and mathematical ideas. I have been studying these issues in the context of scattering amplitudes in gauge theories and gravity, which give a theoretical playground where aspects of these questions can be sharply posed, while connecting directly to the experimental program of collider physics. (2) Meanwhile, we do not have a good answer to an incredibly simple question: why is the universe big, with big things in it? Indeed the existence of our macroscopic universe appears to be wildly incompatible with increasingly violent quantum fluctuations at short distances. Long-held theoretical prejudices centered about this mystery have been shattered by the two great experimental discoveries of the accelerating universe, and a Higgs particle unaccompanied by other new physics at the Large Hadron Collider. Over ten years ago I pursued a different approach to these problems that amongst ~other things (successfully) predicted the mass of the Higgs particle to lie in a narrow range, and I continue to pursue this and other new approaches to the deceptively simple question - "why is there a macroscopic universe?".

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