International collaboration between mathematics and physics


Michele Del Zotto at Uppsala University has been appointed a principal investigator within the Simons Collaboration on Global Categorical Symmetries. This collaboration brings together world leading theoretical physicists and mathematicians from several different universities and gives Uppsala University a financial support of around 500,000 USD during four years. 

Michele Del Zotto standing in front of a bookcase
Michele Del Zotto

Congratulations, Michele Del Zotto! What does this grant mean for your research?

”Thank you! This is a great opportunity for the group of researchers working at the interface of maths and physics here at Uppsala University. One of the main aims of the Simons Collaboration grants is to boost the development of a new subject, which in our case is the existence of a novel type of symmetries that are relevant in the context of the quantum field theory.”

Michele Del Zotto started his academic career in theoretical physics and continued on working in string theory and quantum field theory. His research revolves around the interplay between physics and mathematics, an interest he gained during his undergraduate studies. 

”Isn’t it incredible that we can use very abstract mathematical concepts to capture the essence of many counterintuitive physical phenomena? From the microphysics of quarks inside protons, to the macrophysics of galaxies, mankind has found aspects of it that can be understood exploiting mathematics. Most importantly, it is mathematics that gifts physics its predictive power, and I think this was my main motivation to learn more about it which then lead me more and more to appreciate its beauty.”

What do you like the most about your job?

”The aspect that I like the most about my job is that it is very stimulating. You see, in research there is not one day which is equal to the other. By this, I mean that you serve in a community which is constantly developing, and you are contributing to this developments with your work. Therefore, there is always something new to learn. Something fresh. And also part of your job is to interact with the younger generations, and inspire them to find and follow their questions, which is hard, but also very rewarding at the same time.”

At present Michele Del Zotto’s focus is to build new examples to lay the foundations of global categorical symmetries, and the Simons Collaboration grant will be very instrumental from this point of view. 

”Our department will be part of a network which includes some of the top experts in the world, both on the physics and on the math side —  for more details, I refer you to the official website of the collaboration. In particular, there will be lots of activities to be organised, conferences, workshops, an online seminar series, and even a series of lecture notes among the things we are planning. This is a fantastic occasion to start new collaborations, learn about new developments, and disseminate results. In particular, I also hope to be able to organise some events here in Sweden.”

More on The collaboration between mathematics and physics

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Official website of the Simons Collaboration on Global Categorical Symmetries

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Last modified: 2023-08-15