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Theory Frontier Kick-Off Town Hall Meeting

Aida El-Khadra (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), Csaba Csaki (Cornell University), Nathaniel Craig (UC Santa Barbara)

This will be the kick-off Town Hall meeting for the Theory Frontier of the 2021 Snowmass process. The first hour will be about general organization and goals, while the second hour will be directly with the  Topical Group of choice for each participant.



Please register for the Town Hall meeting here by 5pm EST Wednesday, July 29. Zoom information will be sent to those registering. You can also submit questions during the registration process, and choose the topical group you will be joining during the second hour.

    • 12:00 PM 1:00 PM
      Plenary Session
      • 12:00 PM
        Theory Frontier Introduction and Organization 20m
        Speakers: Nathaniel Craig (UC Santa Barbara), Csaba Csaki (Cornell University), Aida El-Khadra (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
      • 12:20 PM
        Community Engagement Frontier 5m
        Speaker: Devin Walker (SLAC)
      • 12:25 PM
        Snowmass Early Career 5m
        Speakers: Samuel Homiller (YITP, Stony Brook), Yu-Dai Tsai (Fermilab)
      • 12:30 PM
        Discussion 30m

        Pre-submitted questions were answered live during the meeting; the questions are appended to the end of the slides for the main presentation, and responses are in the video recording.

        Questions submitted via the Q&A format were answered both live and via text. All such questions are posted below. Live responses are in the video recording, while text responses are included here. Due to time constraints, some questions posted during the Q&A were not addressed during the live meeting; these questions and text responses are included below.


        George Fleming (Yale)       09:17 AM
        During Summer Study in Seattle, how many in-person participants are expected/possible given housing/meeting facilities?

        Aida El-Khadra       09:51 AM
        The meeting is supposed to accommodtae everyone who wants to attend.

        Anonymous Attendee       09:21 AM
        re: the contributed papers vs LOI, are these going to be solicited by the subcommittees, or are they intended for anyone who wants to to submit one?

        This question has been answered live

        Daniel Harlow       09:25 AM
        Anyone who wants to can submit one, but they may also be solicited.

        Shufang Su       09:25 AM
        In principle anyone can submit one.  Of course topic group can also solicit for a more organized effort.  For the contributed paper, there are detailed instructions in the snowmass website.

        Han, Tao       09:30 AM
        Anyone is encouraged to submit an LOI. They are aimed to help the conveners to gauge the general interests and topics, to be covered in the process. They may or may not lead to a contributed paper or a contribution to the final White paper.

        This question has been answered live

        Anonymous Attendee       09:36 AM
        I’m used to the term “LOI” meaning a precursor to something else, e.g., a statement that one intends to apply for a particular funding opportunity. It doesn’t sound like Snowmass LOIs are used in this way. What is the “Intent” part about? What does the LOI accomplish? Does writing an LOI imply that some subsequent work (e.g., on a White Paper) will follow, or not?

        LianTao Wang       09:41 AM
        It is a “Letter of Interest”. There is no strict definition, but the primary purpose is to convey to the conveners the interest of pursuing a topic, to help setting the agenda for the subsequent meetings and discussions. Ideally, it would be followed by a contributed paper, but it is not required.

        Alexey Petrov       09:43 AM
        LOI in the Snowmass context is a “Letter of Interest”, not a “Letter of Intend”. So it might or might not follow by a Contributed Paper.

        Daniel Harlow       09:48 AM
        I think it can be viewed as a vehicle for "I want to express my opinion but I am too lazy to write a white paper".  The downside is that you have to do it nowish if you want it to matter.

        Anonymous Attendee       09:40 AM
        one of the traditional limitations of DOE for example is creating little boxes and divisions where there aren't any and sometimes punishing interesting research directions that don't fall neatly within these boxes. Is it possible for the leadership of the theory frontier make sure that whatever the final produced document is works to emphasize that this is a thing that should be avoided?

        This question has been answered live

        Graham Kribs       09:40 AM
        There is pending legislation DOE Office of Science Reauthorization Act that appears to be setting budgetary priorities over the next several years.  Should we, as a community, respond to this (soon!), especially the importance of research?

        This question has been answered live

        Zack Sullivan       09:42 AM
        What is the appropriate place to submit theory whitepapers that affect, e.g., phenomenology applications to the Energy Frontier? We want to establish the importance of theory, but some topics need to be understood in the context of experiment.

        LianTao Wang       09:49 AM
        I think you can submit to multiple frontiers. IF it is explicitly in support of a high energy  experimental effort, I would think it should be primarily to the energy frontier. But, there should be no penalty on submitting to the “wrong” frontier. And, we try all talk to each other enough so that nothing falls into the cracks.

        Alexey Petrov       09:50 AM
        Yes, you should submit to several Frontiers. There are already several LOIs submitted that explore that route.

        Anonymous Attendee       09:44 AM
        The chance that a vaccine will be not only available, but widely distributed and effective by March is negligible.   It’s fine to hope for otherwise, but are plans being made?    Also, I would hope that serious contingency plans are being made in case the Seattle meeting must be virtual.

        This question has been answered live

        Anonymous Attendee       09:46 AM
        I worry that it’s easy to miss messages on Slack when subscribed to multiple Snowmass channels.

        Is there an understood “hierarchy of communication modes” so that, for example, I can be assured that any major frontier-wide communication will be sent via e-mail in addition to Slack?

        Aida El-Khadra       09:55 AM
        Yes. Slack is for discussion. Major announcements will be handled vis email. 

        We encourage everybody to sign up for the email lists.

        Andrew Larkoski       09:46 AM
        Are these answers to the questions going to be transcribed and collected somewhere?  It can be very hard to find answers to questions of interest in the recorded video.

        This question has been answered live

        Gordon L Kane       09:49 AM
        From Me to All Panelists:  12:42 PM
        I want to endorse the organizers comments in a specific way. The P5 summary listed 5 "Physics Drivers", and Theory was not considered a physics driver.  That affected funding priorities for the past few years.  many lpeople only looked at the list of 5 drivers. Theory needs to be in the llist of physics drivers.

        This question has been answered live

        Lance Dixon       09:52 AM
        What do you know about how P5 will be (re)structured to incorporate or recognize the output of the TF?

        This question has been answered live

        Unanswered during Q&A

        Anonymous Attendee       09:53 AM
        How long do you expect the final Frontier Summary Document to be?  With so many interesting topics being discussed in all the topical groups, the summary might get rather long.

        - The frontier summary document is targeted at ~25-30 pages, and will be augmented by the summary documents from each topical group.

        Zack Sullivan       09:56 AM
        The problem of theory is it is classified as research even if it is a necessary support of projects. This has led to the elimination of funding for multiple theory PIs. I hope someone will directly address this in the summary.

        - Absolutely; the aim of the Theory Frontier is to highlight theory both on its own and in support of projects, emphasizing the value of research.

        Anonymous Attendee       09:56 AM
        Will there be an option of financial support to attend the meeting in Seattle ? Thanks

        - Support from DOE and NSF for meeting participation remains TBD. We do not expect support to be widespread, but will also endeavor to keep the participation costs low (e.g. no registration fees).

        Andreas Karch       09:57 AM
        A follow up to the question just recently  asked: I think the worry about pigeon holing is not so much within high energy theory, but between HET and other fields. Work on the border of HET and nuclear physics or HET and condensed matter physics should be protected. It's a strength, not a weakness, that ideas generated in HET also end up being of importance elsewhere. What is done to make sure the snowmass process will not be used as a tool to defund work that is now suddenly considered to be not "within HET".

        - Absolutely, thank you. Highlighting the relevance of HET at the boundaries with other communities, and the importance of supporting it within the scope of HET will be a priority.

        El abassi Abderrazaq       10:00 AM
        Hi, sorry I did't join in the right time,am interested in EFT for DM, is there any presentation material left?

        - Please look to the TF03 (EFT) and TF09 (Astroparticle Physics & Cosmology) groups for discussion of this topic.

    • 1:00 PM 2:00 PM
      TF 01 - String Theory
      Conveners: Daniel Harlow (MIT), Shamit Kachru (Stanford), Juan Maldacena (Institute for Advanced Study)
    • 1:00 PM 2:00 PM
      TF 02 - EFT
      Conveners: Patrick Draper (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), Ira Rothstein (CMU)
    • 1:00 PM 2:00 PM
      TF 03 - CFT and QFT
      Conveners: David Poland (Yale), Leonardo Rastelli (Stony Brook)
    • 1:00 PM 2:00 PM
      TF 04 - Amplitudes
      Conveners: Zvi Bern (UCLA), Jaroslav Trnka (UC Davis)
    • 1:00 PM 2:00 PM
      TF 05 - LGT
      Conveners: Zohreh Davoudi (University of Maryland), Taku Izubuchi (Brookhaven National Laboratory), Ethan Neil (University of Colorado, Boulder)
    • 1:00 PM 2:00 PM
      TF 06 - Precision
      Conveners: Radja Boughezal (ANL), Zoltan Ligeti (LBL)
      • 1:00 PM
        Introduction to TF06 10m
        Speakers: Radja Boughezal (Argonne National Laboratory), Zoltan Ligeti (LBL)
      • 1:10 PM
        Mathematics of multi-scale loop integrals 5m
        Speaker: Stefan Weinzierl (University of Mainz)
      • 1:15 PM
        The push to the N3LO frontier 5m
        Speaker: Claude Duhr (CERN)
      • 1:20 PM
        Precision jet physics at the LHC and the EIC 5m
        Speaker: Xiaohui Liu (beijing normal university)
      • 1:25 PM
        Status of CP violation 5m
        Speaker: Yuval Grossman (Cornell University)
      • 1:30 PM
        Monte Carlo event generators 5m
        Speaker: Stefan Hoeche (Fermilab)
      • 1:35 PM
        Theoretical uncertainties inherent in the SMEFT 5m
        Speaker: William Shepherd (Sam Houston State University)
      • 1:40 PM
        Rare processes and precision 5m
        Speaker: Wolfgang Altmannshofer (UC Santa Cruz)
      • 1:45 PM
        Prospects in precise neutrino interactions 5m
        Speakers: Oleksandr Tomalak (University of Kentucky), Richard Hill
      • 1:50 PM
        Open discussion 10m
    • 1:00 PM 2:00 PM
      TF 07 - Collider Pheno
      Conveners: Fabio Maltoni (University of Bologna), Shufang Su (University of Arizona), Jesse Thaler (MIT)
    • 1:00 PM 2:00 PM
      TF 08 - BSM
      Conveners: Patrick Fox (Fermilab), Hitoshi Murayama (University of California, Berkeley & IPMU, University of Tokyo)
    • 1:00 PM 2:00 PM
      TF 09 - Astro/Cosmo
      Conveners: Daniel Green (UC San Diego), Joshua Ruderman (New York University), Ben Safdi (University of Michigan), Julia (Jessie) Shelton (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
    • 1:00 PM 2:00 PM
      TF 10 - QIS
      Conveners: Simon Catterall (Syracuse University), Roni Harnik (FNAL), Veronika Hubeny (UC Davis)
    • 1:00 PM 2:00 PM
      TF 11 - Neutrino Theory
      Conveners: Andre de Gouvea (Northwestern University), Irina Mocioiu (Pennsylvania State University), Saori Pastore (Washington U. in St Louis), Louis Strigari (Texas A&M University)