Associate Professor of Physics
Condensed Matter Physics; Particle Physics; Quantum Physics
Professor Poland received a B.S in physics from MIT in 2004 and went on to receive a PhD from U.C. Berkeley in 2008, where he studied physics beyond the standard model, supersymmetry, and dark matter. His research began focusing on conformal field theories while he was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard University (2008‐2011) and a Member at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton (2011‐2012). He joined the faculty at Yale University in 2012 and he has also been a Junior Visiting Professor at the Institute for Advanced Study (2015‐2016) and a Visiting Associate in Theoretical Physics at Caltech (2018‐2019).
Professor Poland's research is aimed at developing new nonperturbative methods for quantum field theory, with applications to particle physics, condensed matter physics, and quantum gravity. He is primarily focused on developing both numerical and analytical approaches to conformal field theories using an idea called the ``bootstrap", which combines constraints from symmetries and unitarity to make predictions for physical observables. This approach has led to precise predictions for critical exponents which appear in a variety of physical systems, including water, magnets, and superfuild Helium. More broadly, the bootstrap approach allows one to map out the space of conformal field theories and learn about their nonperturbative properties, which can place constraints on scenarios for physics beyond the standard model or the phases of condensed matter systems, teach us about quantum gravity using holography, and act as a discovery tool for identifying new previously‐unknown theories.
Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, 2008
Honors & Awards:
Professor Poland was awarded an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship in 2004, an NSF CAREER award in 2014, the Yale Junior Faculty Fellowship in 2015, and the Arthur Greer Memorial Prize in 2017. With 14 other PIs he was awarded a 10M grant from the Simons Foundation in 2016 to create the Simons Collaboration on the Nonperturbative Bootstrap.