Nathan Seiberg

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Nathan Seiberg
Nathan Seiberg at Harvard University
Born (1956-09-22) September 22, 1956 (age 67)
NationalityIsraeli American
Alma materTel-Aviv University, Weizmann Institute of Science
Known forRational conformal field theory
Seiberg–Witten theory
Seiberg–Witten invariants
Seiberg duality
3D mirror symmetry
Seiberg–Witten map
AwardsMacArthur Fellow (1996)
Heineman Prize (1998)
Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics (2012)
Dirac Medal (2016)
Scientific career
FieldsTheoretical physics
InstitutionsWeizmann Institute of Science, Rutgers University, Institute for Advanced Study
Doctoral advisorHaim Harari
Doctoral studentsShiraz Minwalla

Nathan "Nati" Seiberg (/ˈsbɜːrɡ/; born September 22, 1956) is an Israeli American theoretical physicist who works on quantum field theory and string theory. He is currently a professor at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, United States.

Honors and awards[edit]

He was recipient of a 1996 MacArthur Fellowship[1] and the Dannie Heineman Prize for Mathematical Physics in 1998.[2] In July 2012, he was an inaugural awardee of the Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics, the creation of physicist and internet entrepreneur, Yuri Milner.[3] In 2016, he was awarded the Dirac Medal of the ICTP. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Member of the US National Academy of Sciences.


His contributions include:

  • Ian Affleck, Michael Dine, and Seiberg explored nonperturbative effects in supersymmetric field theories.[4] This work demonstrated, for the first time, that nonperturbative effects in four-dimensional field theories do not respect the supersymmetry nonrenormalization theorems. This understanding led them to find four-dimensional models with dynamical supersymmetry breaking.
  • In a series of papers, Michael Dine and Seiberg explored various aspects of string theory. In particular, Dine, Ryan Rohm, Seiberg, and Edward Witten proposed a supersymmetry breaking mechanism based on gluino condensation,[5] Dine, Seiberg, and Witten showed that terms similar to Fayet–Iliopoulos D-terms arise in string theory,[6] and Dine, Seiberg, X. G. Wen, and Witten studied instantons on the string worldsheet.[7]
  • Gregory Moore and Seiberg studied Rational Conformal Field Theories. In the course of doing it, they invented modular tensor categories and described many of their properties.[8] They also explored the relation between Witten’s Topological Chern–Simons theory and the corresponding Rational Conformal Field Theory.[9] This body of work was later used in mathematics and in the study of topological phases of matter.
  • In the 90’s, Seiberg realized the significance of holomorphy as the underlying reason for the perturbative supersymmetry nonrenormalization theorems[10] and initiated a program to use it to find exact results in complicated field theories including several N=1 supersymmetric gauge theories in four dimension. These theories exhibit unexpected rich phenomena like confinement with and without chiral symmetry breaking and a new kind of electric-magnetic duality – Seiberg duality.[11] Kenneth Intriligator and Seiberg studied many more models and summarized the subject in lecture notes.[12] Later, Intriligator, Seiberg and David Shih used this understanding of the dynamics to present four-dimensional models with dynamical supersymmetry breaking in a metastable vacuum.[13]
  • Seiberg and Witten studied the dynamics of four-dimensional N=2 supersymmetric theories – Seiberg–Witten theory. They found exact expressions for several quantities of interest. These shed new light on interesting phenomena like confinement, chiral symmetry breaking, and electric-magnetic duality.[14] This insight was used by Witten to derive the Seiberg–Witten invariants. Later, Seiberg and Witten extended their work to the four-dimensional N=2 theory compactified to three dimensions.[15]
  • Intriligator and Seiberg found a new kind of duality in three-dimensional N=4 supersymmetric theories, which is reminiscent of the well-known 2D mirror symmetry3D mirror symmetry.[16]
  • In a series of papers with various collaborators, Seiberg studied many supersymmetric theories in three, four, five, and six dimensions. The three-dimensional N=2 supersymmetric theories[17] and their dualities were shown to be related to the four-dimensional N=1 theories.[18] And surprising five-dimensional theories with N=2 supersymmetries were discovered[19] and analyzed.[20]
  • As part of his work on the BFSS matrix model, Seiberg discovered little string theories.[21] These are limits of string theory without gravity that are not local quantum field theories.
  • Seiberg and Witten identified a particular low-energy limit (Seiberg–Witten limit) of theories containing open strings in which the dynamics becomes that of noncommutative quantum field theory – a field theory on a non-commutative geometry. They also presented a map (Seiberg–Witten map) between standard gauge theories and gauge theories on a noncommutative space.[22] Shiraz Minwalla, Mark Van Raamsdonk and Seiberg uncovered a surprising mixing between short-distance and long-distance phenomena in these field theories on a noncommutative space. Such mixing violates the standard picture of the renormalization group. They referred to this phenomenon as UV/IR mixing.[23]
  • Davide Gaiotto, Anton Kapustin, Seiberg, and Brian Willett introduced the notion of higher-form global symmetries and studied some of their properties and applications.[24]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Array of Contemporary American Physicists: Nathan Seiberg". American Institute of Physics. Archived from the original on 2012-10-07. Retrieved 2011-07-20..
  2. ^ "Heineman Prize: Nathan Seiberg". American Physical Society. Retrieved 2011-07-20..
  3. ^ New annual US$3 million Fundamental Physics Prize recognizes transformative advances in the field Archived 2012-08-03 at the Wayback Machine, FPP, accessed 1 August 2012
  4. ^ Ian Affleck, Michael Dine, Nathan Seiberg Dynamical supersymmetry breaking in supersymmetric QCD, Nucl. Phys. B, vol. 241, 1984, pp. 493–534 doi:10.1016/0550-3213(84)90058-0; Dynamical supersymmetry breaking in four dimensions and its phenomenological implications, Nucl. Phys. B, vol. 256, 1985, p. 557, Bibcode:1985NuPhB.256..557A.
  5. ^ Dine, Rohm, Seiberg, Witten Gluino condensation in superstring models, Physics Letters B, vol. 156, 1985, pp. 55–60 doi:10.1016/0370-2693(85)91354-1.
  6. ^ Dine, Seiberg, Witten Fayet-Iliopoulos Terms in String Theory, Nucl. Phys. B, vol. 289, 1987, pp. 589–598 doi:10.1016/0550-3213(87)90395-6
  7. ^ Dine, Seiberg, Wen, Witten Nonperturbative effects on the string world sheet, Nucl. Phys. B, vol. 278, 1986, pp. 769–789 doi:10.1016/0550-3213(86)90418-9; Nucl. Phys. B, vol. 289, 1987, pp. 319–363 doi:10.1016/0550-3213(87)90383-X.
  8. ^ Moore and Seiberg “Classical and Quantum Conformal Field Theory”, Commun.Math.Phys. 123 (1989), 177 {{doi: 10.1007/BF01238857}}
  9. ^ Moore and Seiberg “Lectures on RCFT” in Trieste 1989, Proceedings, Superstrings '89* 1-129 .
  10. ^ Seiberg “Naturalness versus supersymmetric nonrenormalization theorems”, Phys.Lett.B 318 (1993), 469-475 {{doi: 10.1016/0370-2693(93)91541-T}} hep-ph/9309335.
  11. ^ Seiberg, “Exact results on the space of vacua of four-dimensional SUSY gauge theories”, hep-th/9402044, {{DOI:10.1103/PhysRevD.49.6857}}, Phys.Rev.D 49 (1994), 6857-6863; “Electric - magnetic duality in supersymmetric non-Abelian gauge theories”, hep-th/9411149, {{DOI: 10.1016/0550-3213(94)00023-8}}, Nucl.Phys.B 435 (1995), 129-146.
  12. ^ Intriligator and Seiberg “Lectures on supersymmetric gauge theories and electric-magnetic duality” Nucl.Phys.B Proc.Suppl. 45BC (1996), 1-28, Subnucl.Ser. 34 (1997), 237-299, {{ DOI: 10.1016/0920-5632(95)00626-5}}, hep-th/9509066
  13. ^ Intriligator, Seiberg, and Shih, “Dynamical SUSY breaking in meta-stable vacua”, hep-th/0602239 [hep-th], JHEP 04 (2006), 021, {{DOI: 10.1088/1126-6708/2006/04/021}}
  14. ^ Seiberg and Witten, “Electric - magnetic duality, monopole condensation, and confinement in N=2 supersymmetric Yang-Mills theory”{{ DOI: 10.1016/0550-3213(94)90124-4 , 10.1016/0550-3213(94)00449-8 (erratum)}}, Nucl.Phys.B 426 (1994), 19-52, Nucl.Phys.B 430 (1994), 485-486 (erratum), hep-th/9407087; “Monopoles, duality and chiral symmetry breaking in N=2 supersymmetric QCD”, Nucl.Phys.B 431 (1994), 484-550, {{DOI: 10.1016/0550-3213(94)90214-3}}, hep-th/9408099.
  15. ^ Seiberg and Witten, “Gauge dynamics and compactification to three-dimensions”, hep-th/9607163, in “Conference on the Mathematical Beauty of Physics (In Memory of C. Itzykson)”.
  16. ^ Intriligator, Kenneth; N. Seiberg (October 1996). "Mirror symmetry in three-dimensional gauge theories". Physics Letters B. 387 (3): 513–519. arXiv:hep-th/9607207. Bibcode:1996PhLB..387..513I. doi:10.1016/0370-2693(96)01088-X. S2CID 13985843.
  17. ^ Aharony, Hanany, Intriligator, and Seiberg, “Aspects of N=2 supersymmetric gauge theories in three-dimensions”, hep-th/9703110, Nucl.Phys.B 499 (1997), 67-99, {{DOI: 10.1016/S0550-3213(97)00323-4}}
  18. ^ Aharony, Razamat, Seiberg, and Willett, “3d dualities from 4d dualities”, hep-th/1305.3924, {{DOI: 10.1007/JHEP07(2013)149}}, JHEP 07 (2013), 149
  19. ^ Seiberg, “Five-dimensional SUSY field theories, nontrivial fixed points and string dynamics”, hep-th/9608111 {{DOI: 10.1016/S0370-2693(96)01215-4}}, Phys.Lett.B 388 (1996), 753-760
  20. ^ Morrison and Seiberg, “Extremal transitions and five-dimensional supersymmetric field theories”, hep-th/9609070, {{DOI: 10.1016/S0550-3213(96)00592-5}}, Nucl.Phys.B 483 (1997), 229-247; Intriligator, Morrison, and Seiberg, “Five-dimensional supersymmetric gauge theories and degenerations of Calabi-Yau spaces”, hep-th/9702198, {{DOI: 10.1016/S0550-3213(97)00279-4}}, Nucl.Phys.B 497 (1997), 56-100.
  21. ^ Seiberg “New theories in six-dimensions and matrix description of M theory on T**5 and T**5 / Z(2)” hep-th/9705221,{{DOI: 10.1016/S0370-2693(97)00805-8}} Phys.Lett.B 408 (1997), 98-104
  22. ^ Seiberg and Witten “String theory and noncommutative geometry”, JHEP 09 (1999), 032, In *Li, M. (ed.) et al.: Physics in non-commutative world* 327-401, hep-th/9908142, {{DOI:10.1088/1126-6708/1999/09/032}}.
  23. ^ Minwalla, Van Raamsdonk, and Seiberg, “Noncommutative perturbative dynamics”, JHEP 02 (2000), 020, In *Li, M. (ed.) et al.: Physics in non-commutative world* 426-451, hep-th/9912072, {{DOI: 10.1088/1126-6708/2000/02/020}}
  24. ^ Gaiotto, Davide; Kapustin, Anton; Seiberg, Nathan; Willett, Brian (February 2015). "Generalized Global Symmetries". JHEP. 2015 (2): 172. arXiv:1412.5148. Bibcode:2015JHEP...02..172G. doi:10.1007/JHEP02(2015)172. ISSN 1029-8479. S2CID 37178277.

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