Sp(2N) Gauge Theories and the Composite Higgs model

Lead Research Organisation: Swansea University
Department Name: College of Science


The Higgs boson, whose discovery was confirmed in July 2012, is responsible for the spontaneous symmetry breaking of the Electroweak interactions causing the W and Z bosons to acquire mass. The Higgs particle itself has a mass of 125 GeV; this is much lower than one would expect with the Standard Model. One resolution to this problem is that the Higgs is not a fundamental particle but is instead made of smaller constituents (similar to the way hadrons are made up of quarks). This can be modeled as an Sp(2N) gauge field that is coupled to fermionic matter. The aim of this project is to determine the bound states of the theory, its low energy behaviour and to simulate the theory on the lattice. The results from the latter will be extrapolated to the continuum limit.


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J. Holligan (2020) Sp(2N) Yang-Mills towards large N. in Proceedings of Science

Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
ST/R505158/1 30/09/2017 31/12/2021
1949127 Studentship ST/R505158/1 30/09/2017 29/09/2021 Jack Holligan
Description The behaviour of Yang-Mills theory based on the Symplectic gauge groups have been explored numerically. The mass spectrum of glueballs (bound states of the gauge bosons) has been examined as well as the mass spectrum of mesons in the quenched approximation.
Exploitation Route Currently, the examination of the quenched meson spectrum is being extended to large symplectic groups as well as in the large-N limit.
Sectors Education


Description Monthly stipend paid to me by the College of Science.
Amount £22,500 (GBP)
Organisation Swansea University 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2017 
End 03/2021
Description Durham 
Organisation Durham University
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This is a six month placement working with AI and Machine Learning.
Collaborator Contribution None. This is an individual placement running from October 2019-April 2020.
Impact None yet.
Start Year 2019
Description Swansea. 
Organisation Swansea University
Department College of Science
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution My job as a PhD student is to carry out numerical calculations on Supercomputing Wales (SCW). I have also been responsible for presenting the collaboration's work at the 2019 Lattice Symposium in Wuhan. A write up of same was included in Proceedings of Science 2020 (see below).
Collaborator Contribution I have received access to Supercomputing Wales (SCW) which has allowed me to carry out the numerical calculations necessary for the research. I have also received training and assistance from my supervisors in coding. Before I began, my knowledge and experience of coding was quite limited but it has since grown a great deal. I have also been offered training in extra curricular skills such as publishing research; lectures in courses both relevant and accessory to my research.
Impact Lattice Field Theory. "Sp(2N) Yang-Mills towards large N". Published in Proceedings of Science 2020 as well as arXiv (1912.09788).
Start Year 2017
Description 2019 Lattice Symposium 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact This is a yearly conference for people carrying out research in lattice field theory. Several talks are given by its attendees on their research in the topic.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019